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John Fenaughty

John Fenaughty

Academic working to support schools to be inclusive of diversity, particularly for LGBTQIA2+ young people.

About me

I have straddled academia and community work for as long as I can remember, and equitable schooling has been a recurring focus. My early work around education focuses on cyberbullying and electronic harassment; in this capacity I worked with countless schools and educators nationally and internationally on digital citizenship. I then worked around teacher professional learning and development, particularly e-Learning. Now that I'm at the University I have a focus on supporting schools to be inclusive of sex, gender and sexuality diversity. I also lecture in social innovation and evaluation. Most recently I founded and co-directed the Inside Out - We All Belong Social Innovation Co-Deisgn collaboration, which won a prestigeous NZ Design Institute Award for "Social Good in Design" in 2016. This collaboration involved the production of a set of teaching and learning resources to trouble oppressive norms that foster exclusion for young people who are sex, gender, or sexuality diverse. You can read more about me at my University of Auckland profile here.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

Effective teaching and learning are critical to producing a just, equitable, and positive world. Given the pressures operating on schools, teachers, and students, any innovations that can support this process are invaluable. I support the HundrED Community because I believe in innovation and want to do what I can to support education for social change and social good. 

How can education support students to flourish?

Education has the power to create new ways of thinking, seeing the world, and fostering student agency. Education and schooling experiences that foster respect for others, and create space for diverse expressions of self to be validated and appreciated, play a huge role in producing people who are confident in who they are. Innovation theory teaches us that it is in collaboration that creativity and social change are produced; schooling that enables people to recognise and appreciate diversity is a critical step in producing students who are able to flourish and encourage each other. 

What role does innovation play in education change?

Innovation is doing new things, in new ways. This is at the heart of contemporary teacher practice, particularly reflexive teacher models that encourage educators to explore what is working and what needs to be changed. Education needs to be responsive to changing conditions to effectively reach students and foster learning. Innovation is a critical component to curating education experiences that are student centred and effective. 

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Philosophy for Children: Critical thinking, dialogue and reflection are at the heart of social change and liberation. Developing and practising these skills early is critical.

Strong Together – Evolving School: Actually enabling schools to facilitate student-school leadership is something that often receives lip-service, but is rarely supported. This innovation is critical in providing schools with opportunities to make this reality come true. I think this is a critical step in producing schools that are inclusive and effective. 

Mutt-i-grees: Perspective taking, honouring different skills, and the importance of caring and communication are critical for schools that are supportive and inclusive... plus, I love cute dogs!