The full stack school

In my previous post I discussed the idea of a full stack teacher, as a teacher who able to expertly respond to the opportunities presented by new innovation opportunities. What is the optimal school environment and culture that enables full stack teachers to improve their practice and increase student learning outcomes? What might a full stack school look like?

Full stack schools believe that school-based innovation is the best the driver for transformation. They believe that potential benefits of what is not yet known about learning and teaching far outweigh the benefits of what is already known. For this reason these schools favour exploring and testing new ideas and new technologies over what is already considered best practice.

Full stack schools believe that genuine transformation is only possible if they embrace new pedagogies and a shift in practice. They don’t simply seek to understand technological advancements and new learning strategies in the light of existing pedagogies but rather they are open to the possibilities that new pedagogies will need to be developed. They seek to understand how new ways of learning makes new pedagogies possible, for them everything is on the table and nothing is set in stone.

Full stack schools believe that pedagogical transformation impacts all facets of education and learning. When evaluating new pedagogical opportunities, full stack schools don’t limit their understanding to how innovation impact current assessments. They believe that innovation won’t just lead to improved learning outcomes, but also new learning outcomes. Innovation is seen to impact creativity, individually, and citizenship, not just curriculum outcomes.

Full stack schools believe the transformation will only happen when they develop a clear understanding of how learning happens in the digitally rich environments. They make new technologies available for their students and their teachers. They encourage open use as much as possible, they focus on the benefits as opposed to just the potential pitfalls. They encourage their students to embrace new technologies.

Full stack schools empower teachers to make the decisions about changes in pedagogical practice. They realise that teachers are best equipped to identify opportunities for pedagogical transformation. They understand that their teachers are best place to identify what is best for their students, as opposed to external experts and outdated research.

Full stack schools have a sophisticated pedagogical understanding beyond their unique context. They develop an inclusive understanding of learning which enables them to identify how learners are learning in innovative ways in other contexts. They understand that the big innovation opportunities are likely to be developed elsewhere. They then take these ideas and explore them within their context.

Full stack schools continuously refine and improve their practice, and ultimately transform the learning experiences of their students. Given the range of possibilities and the benefits of making good innovation decisions, full stack schools generally favour making many small improvements as opposed to putting all their apples in one basket. The big improvements they see are the result of many smaller positive steps.

Full stack schools measure and celebrate transformation by the qualitative growth in pedagogical quality, capacity and effectiveness. They focus on pedagogy and they measure the impact of their pedagogical innovation. This enables them to clearly articulate why and how their learning and teaching approach is powerful and effective.


At IOI Weekend Melbourne we will hold a short session for participants who are school leaders or are aspiring to be school leaders to share how the IOI Process can be used for successful school pedagogical transformation.

A free fast paced three-hour taster on Friday night will provide you with a shorter experience of the IOI Weekend. This is a free event and will be held at:

May 15th 6PM – 9PM at New Era Melbourne
Level 2 141 Capel Street North Melbourne VIC 3051

Over three hours we will give you a taste the IOI Process highlighting:

  • IOI Pedagogical Quality Framework,
  • IOI Learner Development Profile,
  • the Modern Learning Canvas,
  • how pedagogical quality, effectiveness and capacity can be measured,
  • and get you on your way to develop an Innovation Thesis.

Please RSVP to if you intended to join us to help us with catering (light finger food and drinks.)

Your Email (required)

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Photo credit: Concurs de castells Tarragona 2008 30 taken by Ferran Llorens CC By 2.0

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