Projects with a purpose

Seymour Papert was one of the great (educational) thinkers and visionaries of the modern age.  A mathematician, computer scientist and educator, he was a founding member of MIT’s renowned Media Lab. As MIT’s President said following Papert’s death last year, ‘Seymour..helped revolutionize at least three fields, from the study of how children make sense of the … More Projects with a purpose

The rearview mirror

It was media theorist Marshall McLuhan who famously said we look at the present through a rearview mirror.  This is what I am doing at the moment as I reflect on the last 498 posts on bluyonder.  There have been some posts that were well-received, others critiqued and many that have been ignored. The blog was never going to … More The rearview mirror

Time to Tinker

The idea of school as a workshop for ‘tinkering’ isn’t new. John Dewey and others like Reggio Emilia, were early exponents of experiential learning and a great believer that schools should be an extension of home-life and society. Dewey writes in the School and Society (1912): There is little of one sort of order where … More Time to Tinker

The science of learning

The work of cognitive scientists is becoming increasingly important to the work of teachers as we seek more effective ways to engage learners.  This week, I’ve started reading John Medina’s book Brain Rules.  Medina writes in the introduction that if you want to ‘create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain … More The science of learning

Logical song

I tweeted this week about finding direction in the strangest places.  I never really thought about the lyrics to Supertramp’s Logical Song until I heard it on the radio recently but I wondered whether it is in fact a commentary on the industrial model of schooling.  Interestingly, the song was released six months before Pink Floyd’s Another … More Logical song

The learning myth

I’ve been giving some thought this week to some of the great myths of schooling and one of the greatest myths we need to dispel as a profession is “not every student can learn.” I have experienced a deep seated belief in some schools that certain students are simply not capable of learning, or learning what the teacher purports to know … More The learning myth

The vocation of living

There have been some wonderful highlights for me from the recent World Youth Day in Madrid.  Many of the themes extend beyond religious and cultural divides. I thought the address by Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson last week to 3000 young Australians contained some powerful messages for educators. The Archbishop spoke eloquently about the symbolism of icons and … More The vocation of living

Lessons learned

Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald featured an article on the learning spaces at one of our schools, St Monica’s Primary, North Parramatta.  Our approach as a system of schools is to to ensure the provision of a relevant and contemporary learning experience for every child, and to create a professionally rewarding professional life for all our … More Lessons learned

Succeeding at failure

John Dewey recognised its importance when he said ‘failure is instructive’.  Most success stories are crafted from failure, which is why organisations are beginning to recognise the intrinsic rewards that come from understanding and learning from it. Harvard Business Review Magazine has devoted its April issue to the ‘f’ word – failure.  There are some pearls of … More Succeeding at failure