When schools get it right they don’t just have a positive impact on students but the entire community. Recently, I learned that two of my colleagues decided to embark on a career working in and for schools because of the opportunity to see great teachers in action. One of those is Cheryl Brown, principal Bethany … More Bluyonder voices podcast #14 – Championing learning
Some interesting articles in the weekend papers calling for the teaching of martial arts and alcohol education in schools to address the issues of bullying and binge-drinking. It seems that whenever there is a need to change behaviours or address attitudes we look to the curriculum. Is this the role of a curriculum? Is it the … More Crowding the curriculum
If the success of An Inconvenient Truth in raising our collective consciousness is anything to go by, then Waiting for Superman will challenge and hopefully change long-held assumptions about schooling. Waiting for Superman is a documentary-film about the deteriorating state of America’s public education system. It is an honest, confronting and challenging expose. Essential viewing … More Waiting for Superman
All too often, we spend too much time swimming in our own billabong when there is a river nearby that runs into a vast ocean of diversity, capacity and inspiration. My thanks to Frank Crawford for bringing to my attention these links from Learning and Teaching Scotland. These examples demonstrate the power of feedback in … More Asking more simple questions
As I wrote in a previous blog, I had the opportunity recently to ask Stephen Heppell to respond to the questions most commonly asked by parents and teachers about contemporary learning spaces – why and how. In his response to parents, Stephen addresses why we need to move on from traditional ‘cells and bells’ learning … More Parents ask why
I’ve just finished reading Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom by Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta. This is an insightful exploration of the Web 2.0 revolution – its current and future impact on individuals, communities and organisations. Building on the foundation of social interaction, Fraser and Dutta examine three fundamental themes of social networking: identity, status … More Throwing sheep
I’ve just read an illuminating piece by Amanda Ripley in The Atlantic called ‘What makes a great teacher‘. Although the article details the American experience, the message about teachers and teaching is universal. For more than a decade, Teach for America has been looking at the data on what makes teachers successful – that is … More What makes a great teacher?
Innovation expert, Charles Leadbeater was in Australian recently sharing his ideas on why we need better models of schooling to improve social cohesion. In moving towards greater efficiency, Leadbeater believes that our societies have focussed not on people but on processes, systems, structures and yes, technology. The work of public institutions like schools is not … More The moral purpose
As the league table debate simmers, I’ve been giving thought to how we build greater levels of understanding about student achievement between schools and communities; especially parent communities. This way we build a culture of trust and enquiry. I believe that all too often our definition of a school community is predicated on the notion … More Parent feedback
There has been fierce debate between both sides of the political fence over the decision by the federal government to publish the results of national league tables. With no white flags on the horizon, the unions have now threatened industrial action. The point is parents, students and good teachers already know which schools are under-performing. And … More Publish and perish?