Play, Neoteny & Convivial Learning

A number of years ago, I gave a talk entitled ‘The Joy of Learning’ to the Australian College of Educators in the impressive setting of Geelong College, a few miles south-west of Melbourne. In my presentation I spoke about Convivial Learning, an idea that I had derived from just a few short phrases offered by Ivan Illich in his […]

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Teacher Professional Development in the UK: North and South

While geopolitically, England and Scotland appear to be on quite different trajectories after the Brexit referendum, at least we seem to be of one mind when it comes our respective approaches to teacher professional development. The Department of Education in Whitehall today published a much-awaited document: “Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development“. This offers a detailed description of […]

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The Guardian Takes Sugata Mitra to Task…

…..and gets it completely wrong! Peter Wilby, whose Guardian writings on education I usually have some respect for, seems to fall heavily into the trap of believing that right can only be distinguished from wrong in education through academic research. On Sugata Mitra and his work (the Hole in the Wall Project and now his School in […]

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Jerome Bruner on Pedagogy

Pedagogical theory is not only technical but cultural, ideological and political. If it is to have any impact, it must be self-consciously all of these. So wrote Jerome Bruner in his book, Relevance of Education. He died last weekend, on 5th June, aged 100, in the same city in which he was born: New York […]

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The Reflective Teacher as Reflective Learner

The teacher has a place of honour in human history; there is an inherent nobility in teaching that persists even today when perhaps the teacher’s true worth is not adequately acknowledged by some parts of modern society. The core purpose of teaching, at least in the Western democracies, should be to produce free and creative citizens capable of balancing the desire for personal independence with a recognition of […]

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