It’s taken a while to get here, but this week we’re thrilled to finally be sending the first Progressive Educators Network newsletter.
This issue we hear Bill Conway’s provocative argument for moving beyond a ‘culture or performance’ to a ‘culture of service’. Janet Whittle talks us through a whole-school journey to support children as curious and creative learners. And we review Sir Ken Robinson’s latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education.
As it’s our first issue, let us know if you have any problems or suggestions. We’d also love to hear from you if you’re interested in contributing by sharing a story from your classroom.
Finally, the success of the Progressive Educators Network depends on building a community of engaged educators and academics. So please share with colleagues and friends that you think might be interested, and encourage them to join the network.
SCHOOL CULTURE: PERFORMANCE VS. SERVICE
Bill Conway, Principal at Montessori East
Our schools make the claim that they are educating their students for life. But what kind of life are we referring to? Students are quickly drawn into the pressures associated with high achievement and winning. From the earliest years, a child delights in the special sticker declaring “Good Work!”. This is followed by the realisation that getting the ‘top mark’ on the spelling test may result in free time or a mention in the weekly school newsletter. Eventually a student’s performance in school ranks them publically, in ways that may ultimately determines their future options.
CREATING A WHOLE–SCHOOL LEARNING JOURNEY TO FOSTER ENGAGEMENT IN THE PRIMARY YEARS
Janet Whittle, Assistant Principal at Wooranna Park Primary School
Wooranna Park Primary School takes pride in being an innovative, future thinking school in order to provide the best education possible for each and every one of its students. Understanding that student agency holds the key to a highly engaging curriculum, we have developed shared physical, pedagogical and theoretical structures that have drastically changed our practice for the better.
CREATIVE SCHOOLS: THE GRASSROOTS REVOLUTION THAT’S TRANSFORMING EDUCATION
Written by Ken Robinson.
The bad news is that for fans of Sir Ken Robinson’s previous work, his new book Creative Schools may not have many new ideas to offer. It serves as a powerful rallying cry against ‘back to basics’ reform, and a impassioned plea for more personalised teaching and a greater appreciation of the humanities – but we would expect no less from Sir Ken. If you have watched his TED talks and other presentations, you can almost hear the humour and cadence of Robinson’s delightful oratory style – testament to the articulate and readable style he and his ghost writer Lou Aronica have also brought to his previous books.