I had “another moment of grace” (ie where you see the extraordinary in the ordinary) at one of our schools this week….
I was asked to speak to the parents about the direction of 21st century learning and the impact on current practices. I thought I was well prepared and even had some of the theory we are using to underpin our system direction to help explain to the parents.
A teacher began the meeting by reading Dr Seuss’ Hooray for Diffendoofer Day (see the What I’m Reading Link). I was immediately struck by this wonderful story because it was able to convey everything I had wanted to speak about that very night. It was done with Seuss‘ unique humour, creativity and integrity.
Seuss actually began working on the idea of Diffendoofer School and their fabulous teacher Miss Bonkers in 1989 (two years before his death), long before the digital education revolution!
For me, this story captures the quintessential elements of schooling for today’s world:
- relationships are central to quality learning and teaching
- great teachers are the most powerful influence on student learning
- imagination is more important than knowledge (Einstein)
- if teachers are passionate about their teaching, students are passionate about their learning
- each school is challenged to be as creative and diverse as it can be (ie. we cannot afford to maintain the status quo)
- school leadership has to encourage, trust and support their teachers and students
- celebrate learning
- well taught students will pass any standardised test(s)
- the environment must reflect the approach to learning
- there is no one size fits all
This book should be compulsory reading for all educators – you’ll understand why when you read it! It reinforces our educational narrative in ways that touch our hearts and minds.