Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Organising the school day for 21stCentury Teaching - the Craft of Teaching


The challenge of managing a diverse group of individuals

How to organise the school day for personalised learning.
There are a lot of exciting ideas about teaching these days but one thing that gets little mention is how the day is organised to make best use of them.

I don’t visit classrooms much but in my day, as a school adviser, I must have visited as many classrooms as anyone else. The first thing I look for is the quality of the student’s thinking on display (science/technology work, creative language, mathematics and art etc.).Taking respectful relationships for granted I then like to focus on how the day is organised and which learning areas get the most attention.

The Ideal Classroom


Ideally classroom organisation should be based on helping students achieve in depth quality learning across the curriculum amplifying or uncovering, every student’s unique gifts and talents to ensure they have the skills to become lifelong learners.

A close look at the daily classroom organisation /timetable is a sure way to get an idea of what is seen as important by the teacher – or the school. All too often today’s daily organisation still reflects past expectations.
 A little bit of history
I was taught in the days when the timetable was posted on the wall and outlined exactly what was to be taught as the day progressed. Every aspect of the curriculum had its specific time – a time for  reading, spelling, handwriting, speech training,  aspects of arithmetic ( all in the morning) and in the afternoon specific times for nature study ( later science) social studies ( previously history and geography), physical education, art and music. Students sat in straight rows, often two to desk.
 New child centred ideas
Post World War two new child centred ideas began to spread to New Zealand encouraged by the First Labour Government led by Dr Beeby. There was with a recognised need to organise classrooms to take
Dr Beeby
advantage of such liberating ideas. Pioneer teachers, like Elwyn Richardson, saw their classes as a community of learners exploring their immediate environment, expressing their ideas through language, art, drama and music.  Such creative teaching required a more flexible approach to timetabling
 Junior teachers introduced developmental ideas
Another strong influence were the developmental teaching ideas of creative teachers working in early education centres and infant classes (year 1 to 3 classrooms) in the larger urban schools. Even today the most innovative classroom programmes are often to be found in the early years of education and the most fragmented timetables in the secondary schools.
 The exciting days of the 60s and 70s.
Elwyn Richardson's book
By the late 60s and 70s teachers throughout New Zealand, with the encouragement of school advisers (particularly the art advisers), were exploring such student centred ideas but, it would be true to say, mainly in smaller rural schools. Timetables still ruled supreme in the bigger urban schools. Open plan schools, introduced in the 70s provided further motivation to develop more flexible organisations but many failed because of organisational difficulties but some were brilliant. Lessons were learnt in the 70s in such schools that apply to the current introduction of flexible learning environments.
So this brings us to today.
What ‘message’ does the timetable, or the day’s organisation, in your classroom give? Does it reflect past expectations or future thinking? Which learning areas are given the most prominence? Which areas are neglected?
With the termination of the reactionary National Standards the time is right for progressive
thinking re classroom organisations to be considered.
I’ve recently been privileged to visit some very creative early education centres and in the best of these the belief is that if students are given a rich experiential environment and appropriate help and direction as necessary, they can be trusted to learn. Creating such an environment ought to be the challenge for all educators at all levels. The difficulty in the early education centres is the pressure to introduce too much explicit teaching (usually in literacy and numeracy) to get students ready for primary junior classes leading to the neglecting of vital exploratory play based learning.
 The canny art of intellectual temptation.
Jerome Bruner
I’ve always like the quote from Jerome Bruner ‘that teaching is the canny art of intellectual temptation’. The challenge is for teachers to provide such tempting environments. Teachers working collaborative in flexible learning spaces have an advantage in this respect in that they can take advantage of the specialist knowledge of each other.
The current dominance of literacy and numerac
Unfortunately as students’ progress through the school system teacher planned programmes take precedence. National Standards have had the effect of continuing the dominance of literacy and numeracy and aligned with the use of ability grouping (which are more for the benefit of teachers than the students) has made the development of integrated inquiry based programmes difficult.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, the current emphasis on literacy and numeracy has narrowed the curriculum and limited the opportunities for student creativity. With their removal teachers will have the opportunity to develop more innovative integrated programmes. The ‘new’ flexible learning environments challenge teachers to focus on the appropriate pedagogy to make use of them and in turn new thinking about organisations to take full advantage of the opportunities they offer. 
The need for  benign routines to develop freedom and responsibility.
It would be foolish to move too fast as was the case in the 70s when some teachers introduced a fully integrated day although this remains as an ideal goal. As New Zealand’s pioneer junior teachers Sylvia Ashton-Warner wrote,’ without containment, spontaneity, and exhalation and freedom could seep into licence and anarchy, where the day has no shape. A benign routine help our child to gain responsibility and stability’. She continues ‘it is kinder to keep the lid on the school for a start, lifting little by little, simultaneously teaching responsibility, until the time when the lid cast entirely aside and only two conditions remain – freedom and responsibility’.
 The need to 'reframe' literacy and numeracy.
My advice would be  for teachers to  ‘reframe’ literacy and numeracy to see them as ‘foundation  skills’ and  then to take every opportunity to integrate them with the current content studies by developing necessary skills ( and content) for students to make use of during their inquiry studies. Now is the opportunity to dust off the all too often side-lined 2007 New Zealand National Curriculum and ensure, as it says, that all students are ‘seekers, users and creators of their own knowledge’.
 The need for authentic learning tasks.
American educator Harry Wong has written’ the number one problem in the classroom is not discipline it is the lack of authentic learning tasks, procedures and routines’
The success of any programme will depend on the students’ ability to complete quality work in whatever area chosen- an important concept it to slow the children’s work down (so much work is spoil by students rushing to be first finished) and for both teachers and students to do fewer things well. It is worth listing the skills you wish your students to have and to deliberately teach as required. By the end of Term Four students ought to be able to undertake and plan studies independently.

 The success is the production of quality work
Past educationalists of the 70s, Silberman and Weingartner, wrote ‘happiness has got to come from achievement and success and not by having a good time’ reminding teachers of the time that new approaches need to result in observable quality learning not just fine words about collaboration and team work and the provision, today, a modern educational technology.
 The class as a mini Te Papa - or science or maths fairs
The teacher, or teachers, need to establish areas of their room to featuring different learning areas/topics to attract’, ‘tempt’ and inspire the learners. I envisage a class as a mini Te Papa with the students as researchers, scientists, mathematicians etc adding their finished work to the original motivational display, sharing their achievements with others, their parents and the wider community. A good model for such informative room environment would be the excellent work to be seen at science, technology, maths or art fairs. 
 The  current study ( or studies) provides the intellectual energy.
Good advice is to see the current class inquiry, or inquiries, providing the intellectual energy  relating/integrating as much literacy and numeracy to it as possible. This would seem easier in secondary schools where there are subject specialists to call on particularly if there are teachers with literacy and numeracy skills to withdraw students for special help as required.
The use of group work.
Authentic studies
A strength of current primary teaching is the used of groups with children working independently and collaboratively – a weakness is, as mentioned above, the debilitating use of ability grouping. Most primary teachers are already expert in developing a four group rotary system with a task board to assist their students in literacy and numeracy.
The school day ought to begin with the expectation that students entering would automatically go on with unfinished work – or reading quietly until the day formally begins
The morning programme might feature the language arts period (a more expansive title than literacy) with students working in mixed ability groups completing negotiated tasks – many relating to the current study but not exclusively. Students with particular needs to be withdrawn for help as required or one group might be designated as a teaching group. Opportunity ought to be taken to introduce poetry, literature, handwriting, word study (associated with the current study) as
required Teachers normally have four language groups and one group could allow students to be complete work possibly for display. Information technology   integrated as required.
After morning break a maths block could use a similar group process. Developing a positive attitude towards maths is vital. Students need to see the difference between real maths and practice maths.

To really complete in depth work in the current study requires a similar approach to the defined group work undertaken in the language arts and mathematics blocks making use of skills taught in the early part of the day.
Now and then there will be times for whole class teaching perhaps to run over the day’s tasks, to pull ideas together at the end of a session or to introduce important motivational content. Teachable moments will often take precedence over planned work.
 A more integrated programme as year progresses.
As the year progresses and skills are put in place then it would be possible to have a day revolving
around four groups; an exploratory maths group, a language arts group, a science/technology
group/ an art group. Any individual finishing set tasks could go on with any uncompleted work, read, or do a free choice activity. When confidence develops, and skills are in place teachers might like to allow students free choice for periods and even the whole day – truly self-managing learners.

‘What we want’ writes Howard Gardner, ‘is for students to get more interested in things, more involved in them, more engaged in wanting  to know, to have projects that they can be excited about and work at over long periods of time, to be stimulated o find out tings on their own’
A workshop, studio, research and media centre.

By providing elements of structure in the school day and ensuring skills are in place (best learnt in context) we provide the opportunity for students to become increasingly responsible for their own learning. Language expert Lucy Calkins has written, ‘It is significant to realize that the most creative environments in our society are not the ever changing ones. The artist’s studio, the
Science research
researcher’s laboratory, the scholar’s library, are each kept deliberately simple so as to support the complexities of the work in progress. They are deliberately kept predictable so the unpredictable can happen,’
In line with this quote the metaphor for a modern classroom (or a flexible learning environment) is an amalgam of a studio, a workshop, a research area and media centre. If teachers’ plan a day in which different activities can take place this would provide a range of choices for the students – the choices would depend on the skill levels of the students involved. To keep track of progress students could work with checklists or with negotiated learning contracts. This would take considerable skill if teachers were working in a flexible learning environment.
A untimetabled day
With confidence and experience teachers, once the students have the appropriate attitudes and skills in place to finally develop an untimetabled day – if students are able to work and manage themselves in such an open ended environment this would be the ideal. Even if such a free choice situation was only for a set period of time (towards the end of the school year) it would provide the best assessment of the programme.
 We shape our environment and it shapes us.
It is common sense to believe that the everyday environment we live in determines our beliefs and, with this in mind, teachers have a great responsibility to ensure that their classrooms present a really active and challenging environment. As Churchill wrote, ‘we shape our buildings and they in turn shape us’ and this would particularly apply to the new flexible learning environments.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Inspiration from New Zealand's pioneer educationalists  (and Einstein)/  integrated learning from Northland / school libraries / What's the point of school  ?- asks Guy Claxton  and more joy in learning ......





Education Readings

By Allan Alach

Now that the curse of national standards is being removed from New Zealand education, the way is clear for schools and teachers to really let loose. Bruce Hammonds’ two articles on Elwyn Richardson provide a really good insight into this teaching genius of the 1950s, whose work is very relevant today in the post national standards world.

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz

The Northland school teaching with art

Oturu School Northland NZ
There is a place for the arts in the teaching of all subjects across the curriculum. Teaching becomes lively and fun; children are ‘doing’ rather than sitting, and the classroom becomes an environment where students love to learn. This is a simple definition of ‘arts integration’ which is being researched by educators globally: A small school in Northland has taken the ideas on board and the results are proving remarkable.’


Teaching to Forget - Will Richardson

Much of the ‘learning’ children do at school each day is gone by the time they walk out of the
school gate

The truth that we all know but are loathe to discuss is that the vast majority of what kids "learn" in our classrooms will soon be forgotten. We know this because we ourselves forgot the vast majority of what we learned in classrooms when we were in school.

And the other truth that we don't want to admit is that the grades that we give that are supposed to show what a student has "learned" are pretty meaningless considering that student will forget most of the "learning" once the grade is given.’


Engaging Practice: Making in English Language Arts

Use creative technology tools to engage struggling readers and writers.

Creative multimedia tools allow for multiple forms of representation, providing an opportunity for students to demonstrate understanding while practicing literacy skills through writing (text), reading (audio), and illustration (picture walks and visualization). “When students publish their own books, you tap into their innate desire for recognition as they learn to connect to literature, play with language, and beam with pride at their accomplishments,” shares California educator Linda Oaks.


It’s Time for a New Core Curriculum

'If we were starting the American school system from scratch today, knowing what skills our students will need, we could change the subjects and not base them on what big-time publishers want us to focus on with our students.  Building on some of the great work from FutureReady.org, the ISTE NETS for Students and keeping in mind those most desired future job skills from above, I would propose the development of the following 7 courses for every student:’



6 Strategies For Dealing With ‘DifficultStudents

‘As a new school year approaches, the guidance offered by six “pillars” can help you stay at the top of your game by dramatically influencing even your most challenging students to want to behave and achieve. Each pillar is explained followed by a few hands-on suggestions. Add or substitute other methods within each pillar to reflect your style and preference.'



A Surprising Strategy Makes Kids Persevere at Boring Tasks

‘With the onset of early childhood and attending preschool, increased demands are placed on the self-regulatory skills of kids. Children need to start completing tasks that may be much less interesting than the myriad of entertaining distractions around them. Researchers have been interested in how to develop self-control and perseverance in children by teaching them tactics like averting their attention away from distractions.'


Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:


Use Einstein’s Educational Philosophy to Boost Your Learning

Although he overall did well in school, Einstein was skeptical of the schooling system and strongly disliked academia’s restrictions on learning. Here are 10 things we can learn from Albert Einstein about school and education: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”’


Why This Second Grade Handout Should Be Your New Creative Manifesto

'Last week, I attended curriculum night at my daughter’s school. In discussing the things the kids will be learning this year, the teachers handed us the chart below. My first thought was, what an amazing thing to give a bunch of second graders. I am sharing it with you. I feel like this is as good a guideline for a creative department I’ve ever seen. A simple chart for all teachers at all levels.’



How This School Library Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent

To adapt to changing student needs, some school libraries are reinventing themselves as makerspaces, but this Ohio library took a slightly different approach. Now they’re seeing incredible results. A library as a place where students did hands-on work, an extension of what was happening their classrooms toward more personalized learning.'


From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

What's the Point of School?
What's the Point of School asks Guy Claxton

Guy Claxton
'The purpose of education' Claxton writes, is to prepare young people for the future.Schools should be helping Young people to develop the capacities they will need to thrive.What they need and want, is the confidence to talk to strangers, to try things out, to handle tricky situations, to stand up for themselves, to ask for help, to think new thoughts' 'This is not to much to ask', says Claxton, 'but they are not getting it.’


Reclaiming the joy of learning

and also

A new inspirational book about Elwyn Richardson - New Zealand's pioneer teacher

A must for all teachers NZCER
Two articles about the great NZ teacher Elwyn Richardson that all teachers should read.

‘What matters is a curriculum that places children’s natural curiosity at the heart, so that they are encouraged to explore who they are and the world around them.This is evident in Elwyn’s use of an integrated curriculum, focusing on intriguing questions that motivated children to pursue avenues of enquiry. He encouraged the freedom to explore, the opportunity to observe closely, and the discipline to record findings in various ways. He also upheld the value of the arts as a vivid means of expression and not secondary to other subjects. He also realised that one subject informs another; that scientific understanding is enhanced by the aesthetic, and vice versa.'



Looking back
Dr Beeby and the first Labour Government set an example for today


Today teachers need to look back to ideas that have been sidelined by the imposition of the current technocratic curriculums of the 90s and to appreciate that it is these curriculums that have caused our current confusion and distress. Dr Beeby believed in a creative role for education. He reminded those present in 1983 that the most important thing realized about education in the previous decades had been the discovery of the individual child. It is not that individuality wasn't appreciated earlier but that the school system was based on a mass education vision which made realizing such an idea impossible.’






Dr Beeby, Gordon Tovey and the Art Advisers

Friday, November 10, 2017

Education for the future / listening to kids not testing / primary science / Modern Learning Environments / the 'F' words / a rebirth of education and more joy!


Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz

What every teacher should know about ... memory
‘There is a wealth of psychology research that can help teachers to improve how they work with students – but academic studies of this kind aren’t always easy to access, or to translate into the realities of classroom practice. This series seeks to redress that, by taking a selection of studies and making sense of the important information for teachers.’


Walking backwards into the future
Steve Wheeler:

'When we consider the future we tend to strain our minds to imagine what will come next. And usually we fail miserably. Perhaps instead we should follow the Maori tradition and build our own future on the shoulders of giants. In the case of education and the future of learning we should consider what those who have gone before us have achieved, the lessons they learnt and the trajectory they have set us on.’


Listening, Not Testing, Will Improve Children’s Vocabulary
‘While we may actively teach our children to read, oral language skills (the ability to learn words, form sentences and to communicate abstract ideas) is a defining human characteristic and, of these, it is vocabulary which is the pivotal skill. Children grow up acquiring these skills driven by, in Canadian telly-don Stephen Pinker’s words an “instinct” for language.'

http://bit.ly/2iFdiBo

Mouldy cheese and minibeasts: tips for teaching science in primary schools

‘Classroom teachers have a lot of freedom to teach investigative science frequently and creatively, and some do so beautifully. However, in general, there is not enough help for teachers in this area, with just under a third of primary school teachers saying they had no support for science in the past year, and a quarter saying they were concerned they might not be able to answer pupils’ science questions. So what can teachers do to increase the focus on science at primary level?’


Math Class Doesn’t Work. Here’s the Solution


Until we change the way we teach math to emphasize learning and exploration, rather than performance, we’ll continue to produce students who describe their math experience as a hamster wheel, or worse, a prison. We’ll continue to produce anxious students who experience fear when they see numbers. The performance culture of mathematics has destroyed a vibrant, essential subject for so many people.’


Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Modern Learning Environments … innovation or disaster?

With glass walls, funky furniture and 60 children in a big open plan room where two teachers share the space, education consultants’ will explain the trend in classroom design as an open, flexible learning environment in which inquiries are shared and interventions are devised collaboratively. Ask some of the men and women at the coal face of the modern learning environment about their experience teaching in buildings like this, and the answer is often less complicated.’


Comparison is the Thief of Joy

‘Learning is about discovering your purpose and passion in life. Schools should provide diverse pathways and opportunities for students to develop and unleash their special abilities and unique talents…not standardize them.’


Change, Beliefs, And The ‘F’ Words
Some advice if you are serious about transforming your school. Here is a summary of the main
Derek Wenmouth
messages of the latest  uLearn Conference. The new Minister is removing National Standards and lightening the assessment load but if this is all that happens it will be a lost opportunity
.

‘The annual uLearn conference is over for another year, and as the new term begins it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on the ‘big ideas’ we came away with — the overarching themes and messages that persisted through the various keynote, spotlight, and workshop presentations. I had the privilege of doing a quick summary at the end of this year’s conference, and want to share that in this blog post as an ‘aide memoire’ for those who are interested. For me, there were three ‘big ideas’ that kept surfacing (four if you count my two “F” words) which are expanded on below:’

How School Leaders Can Attend to the Emotional Side of Change

'“All of us respond to a change that someone says or does not because of what it is, but in terms of what it means to us,”“Resistance to change is normal and necessary,” Evans said. “If you are part of some big change in your school and you aren’t expecting resistance, there’s something wrong with your plan.” But he also points out that resistance can be overcome when leaders understand its source and empathize with teachers. Evans shared several tips on how to manage change.'


From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

The rebirth of education - a real Renaissance

‘If we want to be recognised as a creative and innovative country, a country at the leading edge of change, then the most important asset we have is the talent and creativity of our citizens. Once such a vision has been defined then schools can follow the lead or better still be seen as leaders.’


Learning to be 'creatively rebellious'. The importance of the Three Ds: being Different, Disruptive and Deviant. 

(This blog not for traditional school principals!)

‘Organisations that want to develop innovative cultures that enable leaders to be intentionally disruptive and deviant will flourish in the 21stC. And schools should be at the forefront  of developing innovative cultures. Risk adversity and fear of failure gets in the way of embracing disruption and deviance as the basis of developing innovation.’


Joyful Learning

Wolk introduces his article by saying, 'joyful learning can flourish in your school if you give joy a chance'. John Dewey, in 1936, wrote that 'to what avail if students absorb prescribed amounts of information.... if in the process the individual loses his own soul'. More recently, in 1984, John Goodland in his book 'A Place called School' after surveying high schools, wrote that he found an 'extraordinary sameness' and that 'boredom was a disease of endemic proportions, ' he asked, ,why are schools not places of joy?

Friday, November 03, 2017

New directions for New Zealand education / technology/ creativity / real maths / the power of interest/ and some wisdom from the past



Bill Guild's classroom - see the last readings
Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz


Now What: Recovering from the Standards Era

‘The damage caused by the National Standards policy of the previous government will not be easily undone.  The side effects have had somewhat of a cancerous impact on our education system, and a careful approach will be needed in order to support teachers through this next transition.’


The end of National Standards and the role of researchers and academics

Article by Professor Martin Thrupp, one of the loudest academic voices who battled against
Enuf measuring - time to taste the apple
national standards.

‘It’s great, though, that New Zealand primary schools will now be able to spend less time shoring up judgements about children – judgements that have often been pointless or harmful – and instead spend more time making learning relevant and interesting for each child. Removing National Standards should also allow teachers to be less burdened, contributing to making teaching a more attractive career again.’


Longworth Forest selected as part of Finnish "HundrED’s 100 Global Education Innovations Project”

Longworth Forest was established in Poraiti, Napier, in 2014 by Linda and Bruce Cheer, and seeks to provide children 5 - 7 years of age with safe and semi structured opportunities to experience risk and challenge, to problem solve and enterprise, all at the child’s own pace. It is a child led approach which gives children the power to initiate and drive their own learning, to make meaningful choices and to discover and develop their interests. Through regular outdoor play, children learn to develop positive relationships with themselves and others as well as a bond with nature and an understanding of their place in the natural world.’


My Students Are Addicted to Screens

In my kids’ everyday lives, this type of constant technology reliance doesn’t make them better students. It doesn’t give them access to more information. It makes them dependent on instant gratification and sensory overload. Their minds are submerged in a soup of constant noise and conflicting demands for their attention. Stringing together thoughts and coming to reasoned opinions becomes increasingly difficult. This isn’t to say that technology has no place in the classroom.’


Teaching kids real maths

‘I've been doing some research about teaching mathematics, and decided to start by reading and l have been listening to the thoughts of the British technologist Conrad Wolfram, who for a number of years has been arguing that we need to rebuild a maths curriculum for the computer age and that students should be calculating "just like everyone does in the real world".  His argument is that school maths is very disconnected from the maths used to solve problems in the real world, and that it needs to be more practical, more conceptual and less mechanical.’


A Troubling Side Effect of Praise

‘Teachers often use praise to reward good behavior or correct answers. But there’s a potential downside to this common choice: Praising young children for being smart can increase the likelihood that they’ll cheat, according to a new study in Psychological Science by an international team of researchers.’


Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Are We Innovating, or Just Digitizing Traditional Teaching?

‘A few months ago, I noticed an increased amount of discussion around the notion of blended learning. Many of these conversations started on a similar note: “We’re blended—all of our teachers use Google Classroom” (or Edmodo, Schoology, Canvas, Moodle, etc.). However, in probing further, I often discovered that these tools had merely digitized existing content and classroom procedures.’


10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth

‘There’s a common misconception that the best way to encourage children’s creativity is simply to get out of the way and let them be creative. Although it’s certainly true that children are naturally curious and inquisitive, they need support to develop their creative capacities and reach their full creative potential.Supporting children’s development is always a balancing act: how much structure, how much freedom; when to step in, when to step back; when to show, when to tell, when to ask, when to listen.’


Why Learning and People Should Come First

‘My primary objective for all multiday workshops is to illustrate the vital role that technology can play in improving teaching, learning, and leadership.  Most of the first day is spent on emphasizing the importance of a pedagogy first, technology second mindset. The bottom line is that if we don’t get the instructional design right first, then the chances of technology improving learning outcomes is slim to none.’


From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

The transformative Power of Interest : Annie Murphy Paul - Dan Pink and Carol Dweck

Anne Murphy
‘If there is just one message I could share with parents, educators, and managers, it would be about the transformative power of interest.’ Annie Murphy Paul. The development of every student’s unique set of talents and gifts is the challenge for a 21stC of education and so far few schools have yet to appreciate this challenge.’


The rise and fall and rise again of teacher expertise

‘Schools need to be seen as 'professional learning communities' that respect creative teachers as true co-leaders with ‘principals who can develop such learning communities can create creative schools with extraordinary teachers, and make learning stretching, creative, fun and successful.’ A new sense of excitement could well be on the horizon. Only those who have been around long enough will know this sense of possibility is not new – but this time perhaps the time is right?


Back to the future.

‘Twenty five years after retiring Bill Guild ( currently  91 and still an enthusiast) has been invited back to his old school to share his ideas about quality teaching and learning. It is a half a century since Bill took up his appointment at the school.. Tapping into the wisdom of the past is a powerful idea - and it turns out Bill's wisdom is very current .Bill was part of a small group of Taranaki teachers who worked hard to develop creative classrooms in the 1970s.’





Bill complied a marvellous booklet for the school reunion