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What if we build every lesson from an attitude of playfulness and creativity?

Conference Overview

This two-day conference will be led by Lou Deibe, Assistant Principal, and Mark Burgess, Deputy Principal (Lindfield Learning Village) more happily known as collaborators, activists and provocateurs in the educational revolution.

Lou and Mark are driven by an insatiable desire to find better ways to do the things that matter, the things that make school better for students and teachers everywhere. Unleashing creativity in all facets of teaching and learning communities is at the core of their work. 

It is necessary to redefine what we think creativity means and to embed it in the very heart of educational practice regardless of curriculum area. It drives us to connect with who we are as human beings and how we make sense of the world but more so than ever before, it empowers our students in the here and now, to respond as creative thinkers to the multiple challenges that belonging to a Global Community in the 21st C brings.

These highly energetic sessions will develop mindset, skills and strategies for developing learning communities with creativity at their heart.

The highly practical, hands on workshops will cover the 'how to' of building creative communities of practice, unpack what the research says, discuss the urgency using stories from the kids we are working with every day and provoke change with questions such as 'What if we build every lesson from an attitude of playfulness and creativity?' Whether you are looking to innovate at a whole school level or within the individual learning space, these workshops will be packed with ideas and provocations to drive innovative and collaborative practice in any learning environment.

Target Audience

This conference is best suited to innovative classroom teachers, pre-service teachers and those on the executive looking to innovate at a school level or within the individual classroom.

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

This conference addresses the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:

1 – Know students and how they learn
2 – Know the content and how to teach it
3 – Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4 – Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
6 – Engage in professional learning


Tickets can be purchased for 1 or 2 days. Prices inc GST.

(ends 31 March 2019)
1 day - $325
2 days - $622

1 day - $369
2 days - $655

Friday 31 May 2019

9:00AM – 10:30 am

Keynote speakers: Mark Burgess, Deputy Principal - Lindfield Learning Village and Lou Deibe, Assistant Principal - Lindfield Learning Village

 Lou Deibe

Lou Deibe

 Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess

creativity… What is it really and why do we desperately need it in schools?

From the coffeehouses of the 17th century to MIT Research labs …….creativity begets creativity. We refuse to accept that some people are ‘just not creative’. We know, when we watch small children that human beings are inherently creative but, over time, things happen, words are said, expectations set and creativity hampered and confined. This opening session will start to provoke action, thinking and sharing around the desperate need for schools to rethink the way they think about creativity.

‘People are most creative when they are on a mission, intrinsically motivated by a love for what they are doing’. Bauer and his colleagues found immense interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge in dreaming, proving and making things that had never been done before. Robert Bauer (Harvard Business Review)

Are you on a mission?

By the end of this session, participants will have been provoked into rethinking the definition, the role and the power of creativity when released within our school communities.

10:30am – 11:00am

Morning Tea

11:10am – 12:00pm

Creative Mindset – getting one

What does it take to be creative? How can we understand ourselves and our inhibitions to creativity? How much permission do we need and how can we give ourselves the permission to be creative? When is it plagiarism or appropriation and who really cares? What can we learn from those people who already see themselves as creative? Can we set ourselves on the pursuit of creativity?

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work” Gustave Flaubert (French novelist)

By the end of this session participants will have explored the characteristics of a creative mindset and understand more about their own approaches to creativity.

12:10pm – 1:00pm

Creative Teacher Practice

Redefining what it means to be a teacher, this session looks at the multiple ways the flexible teacher takes on to keep the active student at the core of the learning experience. Drawing on the work of Resnick, Froebel, Reggio Emilia, Papert and many many others who have gone before, we will share practical strategies and ideas of how teachers can be all things to all students in a highly creative share learning experience. Come be catalysts, consultants, connectors, collaborators……..and above all, creatives.

‘Creativity is a step beyond imagination: it is putting your imagination to work.’ Ken Robinson in the forward to Lifelong Kindergarten.

By the end of this session participants will have gained multiple strategies on how to be creative in various learning settings.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Lunch served as part of the Expo (free seminars scheduled)

2:00pm – 2:50pm

The research - what does it say and what is it too scared to say? How building a culture of thinking & reading grows a culture of creativity

This session will feel like ‘book club on steroids’. When we mash-up the best thinking and research from the best thinkers and practices across the world, find intrinsic and explicit connections between thinkers and creatives and make the time to play and tinker magical things happen. “Most of the time, thinking is integrated with doing: We think in the context of interacting with things, playing with things. Creating things. And most thinking is done in connection with other people.” Mitchel Resnick.

What if……....we read, think and create?

By the end of this session participants will have a broad overview of perspectives on creative thinking and how the research can inform the strategies we employ to grow a culture of creativity.

2:50pm – 3:40pm

Creativity from Collaboration (two for one deal)

The question is no longer whether to collaborate but rather how to do so effectively. Do you really believe that the team is greater than the sum of its parts? How does collaboration actually give you more than two for one? What frameworks can help you embed collaboration in your everyday? What happens to an idea when it is shared with other creatives? We will share and test lots of practical activities and frameworks to grow collaborative practices which encourage and support creativity across your schools. Together, let’s embed creativity and best practice in a team teaching context. Let us reflect on current practice; let us explore new options, let us choose a strategy to pilot and create a framework that allows participants to use these ideas in their next lesson. We will learn by ‘doing’ together. 

By the end of this session participants will have a series of tools and activities to grown and embed collaborative practice in their school as well as the opportunity to pilot one or more as soon as they return to their schools.

Saturday 1 June 2019

9:00am – 10:30am

Keynote speakers: Mark Burgess, Deputy Principal - Lindfield Learning Village and Lou Deibe, Assistant Principal - Lindfield Learning Village

 Lou Deibe

Lou Deibe

 Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess

creativity… The urgency in real life, stories from the faces

The growing diversity of needs within our student population demands that we respond differently than we ever have before and that we do so with expediency. Having creativity as a core value and skill in our teacher practice means we have ‘withitness’ and the ability to think on our feet. It is this outworking of creative thinking which allows us to respond to the unpredictability in our everyday work. Our children and young people deserve our responses to be utterly creative and highly personal. Carrots and sticks are not working; perhaps they never have?

By the end of this session we will understand the urgency behind the need for teachers to be highly responsive and how developing their creativity will support this.

10:30am – 11:00am

Morning Tea

11:10am – 12:00pm

Designing Creative Learning Experiences

What if we build every lesson from an attitude of playfulness and creativity?

This session will be jam packed with ideas, tools and strategies for developing a mindset of creativity and flexibility in teachers and leaders which will in turn lead to the building of creative, engaging learning experiences. When we plan from an attitude of playfulness and creativity, even more creativity is released in the doing by both teachers and students. This mindset also ensures we set low floors, high ceilings and wide walls to make sure we can engage EVERY learner.

By the end of this session participants will be able to plan lessons which have enough breadth and depth to engage every learner whilst also expecting that the learning vibe will be playful and creative.

12:10pm – 1:00pm

Designing Creative Learning Spaces

Why space matters? Who should be doing the designing? What we learnt from our mistakes? What are the key considerations? Are there frameworks that can help us get it right more often than not? Lights! Cameras! Action! Space design cannot be sedentary or static. It is responsive and centered around people. Flexible spaces require flexible thinking. How can the designing continue to occur in the thinking of the teachers and learners in the space as they use it?

By the end of this session, participants will think about the way they and their students use space as a critical, creative choice to be made every lesson. Regardless of whether they are using existing spaces with a more creative mindset or redesigning at a whole school level, they will be able to think like designers who have creativity as their core design brief.

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch served as part of the Expo (free seminars scheduled)

2:00pm – 2:50pm

Designing for Creativity

How far can you go? Do you really question everything? Are you prepared to rethink everything you thought you knew about schools, teaching, learning, teachers and students? What difference can even small ‘creative’ touches make to a community?

This session will look at every moment in a school experience as an opportunity to respond with a creative mindset and design something that unleashes a culture of creativity from the car park to the front desk, the way we respond to practical challenges (rooming & timetables) to moments of challenging behavior from students, parents and colleagues.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to think about ways to enhance the existing creativity within their community. They will be equipped to make changes, big and small, that will unleash the creative spirit and send a clear message about its value to all who interact with their school.

2:50pm - 3:00pm

Present Projects, Wrap-up and Thank You