From the Principal

The Quality of Intent


Term Two is winding its way to an inevitable end. With the coming of the winter weather and following on from the luxury of a long weekend it is not necessarily easy to maintain the energy and enthusiasm needed for the last three weeks of Term. That’s true whether you are living the reality of leading the community, one of the staff with a range of responsibilities, a senior student cramming in the last weeks before the Trials or a younger student working towards less life changing goals. It’s true too for parents striving to maintain the equilibrium of a work life balance and professional and family responsibilities. Motivation, no matter who you are, or what your role, sometimes requires conscious intent. Sometimes all of us need to be reminded to be intent on making the most of our opportunities.


L David Marquet, a Captain in the United States Navy has integrated the idea of intent into his unconventional leadership style. Rather than thinking of himself as a leader who directs his followers as is the convention in the armed forces, he adopts a mindset where all are leaders. He insists that all those under his command present to him, not to ask permission or to make requests but rather to state their intentions. It has required a change of thinking given the hierarchical nature of the U.S. Navy. No doubt his crew need to plan and consider their intentions carefully, given that in this chain of command they might find themselves entirely responsible for their own plans and intent.

I wonder what learning would and could look like and how the learning experience might be transformed if learners approached the learning experience with intent and the confidence to own this intent with clear statements. Where would learning lead all of us if it included clear statements through the process: “I intend to …” Rather than waiting for someone else to direct the process and tell you how to learn, suddenly, you might find yourself responsible for your own learning. What could happen with the learner in control of the process with clear statements every step along the way?

I intend to explore my dream of …

I intend to prepare by …

I intend to plan …

I intend to change …

I intend to seek …

I intend to learn whenever, wherever and however I can.

I suspect that if you set your own directions and control your own learning and clearly state your intent, the only question that needs to be asked is about the quality of that intent.

Dr Joanne Hack

Acting Principal


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