Education is life, not a preparation for life.
Within months after I began my first mainstream education placement, three significant factors converged, setting me on my current path of educational discovery and eventual use of the 16 Habits of Mind. First, the school where I was teaching—the Poonindie Community Learning Center in Poonindie, South Australia—provided an environment that emphasized learning and leading. The principal of the school, Morna Shane, had created this style of leadership, and it continued when Deb Hemming became the principal. Both Morna and Deb had demonstrated such qualities as passion—being energized by their beliefs regarding the possibilities, a fundamental ingredient to enable others to join the process; and
vision—creating a shared vision of the possibilities. And through their actions they demonstrated a dedication to their beliefs by encouraging a climate of learning, risk taking, exploration, implementation, and a commitment to improved learning outcomes. Each of these qualities is needed to produce a culture of educational change and development—one in which I would feel enabled to take on a role of leading the process of change and curriculum development, both in my class and at the site (Fletcher, 2004).