This week we sent out the third issue of the Progressive Educators Network newsletter.
We rarely have exactly the resources we might want in the classroom. This issue we explore how to best use the things we do have.
In the wake of a devastating storm, Beatrice Heine and her class give us an insight into student-directed emergent curriculum.
Leadership consultant and principal of twenty years Barbara Stone shares her thoughts on the potential of existing technology in the classroom.
And we review Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today, an inspiring book from Richard Gerver, who delivered the closing keynote at this year’s FutureSchools conference.
AFTER THE STORM: WORKING WITH EMERGENT CURRICULUM
Beatrice Heine, Educator, Kinma School
As a child, I always wished for a ‘snow day’ as a child. Now as a teacher I was experiencing a ‘storm day’ as we called around each household and told them the start of term had been postponed.
When my troupe of seven, eight and nine year-olds did eventually turn up we wandered the grounds and studied the devastation. They had many questions.
And so, for those first few weeks of term, that’s what we investigated. My well-laid plans were shoved to the back of the desk, and we let the students’ curiosity and interest shape their learning experience.
THE TECHNOLOGY IS ALREADY HERE
Barbara Stone AM
How much of what goes on in your classroom uses the advantage of continually developing computer technology to build on what students already know and can do? How much of that has been carefully tailored to meet each learner’s particular needs?
Although I read Don Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital in the late 1990’s, one particular anecdote is vividly with me still. It was the story of the preschooler encouraged by his father to learn about science, alongside him on his computer. They conducted ‘experiments’ about how quickly ice-blocks melted on black compared with white tiles in their sunroom. I wondered how much of a starting point this was for that preschooler’s teachers when he started school. Sadly, I still wonder about the same thing today.
CREATING TOMORROW’S SCHOOLS TODAY (REVISED EDITION)
Written by Richard Gerver.
Richard Gerver was the head teacher at Grange Primary School in the UK during its transformation into a model for innovative education. Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today is an overview of his pedagogical beliefs (the first half) and how they came to life at Grange (the second half).
Highlights include an overview of ‘Grangeton’, a program where the school creates a simulacrum of society, with everything from a healthy-eating shop (mentored by the local supermarket owner) to a daily radio show.