Paul Kennedy: Developing Self-Directed Learners

Paul is an experienced educational leader who is currently Regional Principal for New Zealand and Argentina at OneSchool Global New Zealand. After working as a Primary Teacher in the early 1980’s he left teaching and spent 14 years in the New Zealand Police as a front-line Police Officer. On returning to teaching he was quickly appointed to run a school for youth offenders before a stint as a manager for the Ministry of Education. He was then appointed as Principal of Halswell Residential College, a school for secondary-aged students with learning and behavioural difficulties and then as Headmaster of the Cathedral Grammar School, both in Christchurch, before moving to OneSchool Global. Paul has a Master’s Degree in Education, specialising in Educational Leadership.  

As a leader of a range of education organisations, he has a passion for leading learning environments that ensure students reach their potential and have the best possible educational outcomes. 

Paul has also been:

  • Lead Facilitator in the Ministry of Education’s ‘Principal’s Development and Planning Centre’, 
  • a recipient of the New Zealand Principal’s Federation ‘Service with Distinction’ Award for services to Christchurch schools following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, 
  • a member of the Associate Minister’s Advisory Group on the 2009/2010 Review of Special Education, and 
  • recipient of New Zealand Principal’s Federation / Konica Minolta Study Award in 2008.

OneSchool Global (OSG) is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive, truly global schools. With over 9500 students, over 120 campuses and over 2000 staff and volunteers operating across 20 countries, OneSchool’s global education ecosystem provides an environment in which our staff and students thrive.

OSG develops learners who “learn how to learn and achieve”. While academic excellence has and always will be a priority, OSG challenges educational practices and processes with their Self-Directed Learning Programme.

In New Zealand, OneSchool Global has over 270 staff providing its innovative learning and teaching approach to over 1600 students in 17 campuses spread from Invercargill in the south to Kerikeri in the north, and in 15 places in between, as well as our three schools in Argentina.

Developing Self-Directed Learners

Learning to Learn means to use learning as a tool whereby students are equipped with the ability to think critically, process information perceptually, analyse data accurately and evaluate situations intelligently in order that they fulfil their true potential. Course content is accessed through the interlinking elements of The Assignment, The Lesson, and The Study. This workshop will explore the lesson, study, and tutorial structure and the underpinning self-directed learning model including the benefits to student agency. We will also explore the way we are empowering and engaging students through learning coaching, exploring the independent learning structure of our school, especially in the Senior school, and the ways that we teach the students to make the best learning choices about where to work, with whom, and when to log on for help and when to work independently.


View the full ISNZ Annual Conference 2022 Programme here.


Register for the ISNZ Annual Conference 2022 today!