Last week I was chatting with a friend about a job interview he had recently been through after applying for a senior position at an international school in eastern Europe. For some employers, job interviews are subject to a kind of arms race, as they think up novel ways to unsettle candidates in order to “put them on the spot” and unearth their “deepest selves”.… Read more
I have found myself in several conversations recently with teachers, parents and students, reflecting on what exactly is missing from children’s lives during this period of disruption, including its repercussions for on-campus learning.
Several themes reliably come up: structure, routine, engagement, attention … but, at a more fundamental level, underlying all of them is what, increasingly, I take to be the essential component of any truly successful learning experience: energy.… Read more
A very good morning to you all – and welcome to this final assembly of Term 1, on the last school day of 2020.
What a year it has been.
How could I possibly bring the term to a close and speak to you about anything other than the virus-shaped elephant in the room: our unbidden houseguest, COVID19, always a gatecrasher, which has long, long since outstayed its welcome.… Read more
As a child, I did what I imagine many children do at Christmas or during similar festivals that come to represent an opportunity for magic in their lives. I invented traditions.
Tradition is a marvelous technology for intensifying experience and, as I loved Christmas and the many well-established traditions that already associated with Christmas, I believed that the best thing to do was add still more.
We all have some bad habits – and one of mine is using a turn of phrase which I don’t much like, but which, despite that, I sometimes find tripping off my tongue. That’s the problem with cliches – they take on a life of their own.… Read more
Relationships are the cornerstone of performance at school. They will look different in every instance, because, as we well know from daily experience, the ‘chemistry’ between individuals is always subject to many diverse factors, which can play out differently at any given moment and across time.… Read more
The ‘good enough’ school is a primary school and not a secondary school; while the good enough student is a secondary student and not a primary student.
Embedded in this only apparently gnomic statement is a vital lesson in how to promote the conditions under which children can hope to enjoy a successful apprenticeship in the art and craft of being human.… Read more
Ability, capacity and capability – the difference between them and why, in respect of all three, (most) schools ask and answer the wrong questions.
Gathered in the school yard at the heart of the school campus are a class of students readying themselves to participate in a PE session.… Read more
Occupy a ‘leadership’ position long enough, particularly when working within a relatively high-powered team, and you’ll be asked to undergo some sort of psychometric testing. These come in many guises, so you might find it’s DiSC, Belbin, Myers-Briggs, Strengthfinder or any one of a dozen others, but in some shape or form you will be quizzed and assessed on how your personality and preferences equip you as part of the collaborative process that, in pretty much every job of work, provides for success.… Read more
One of the advantages of ICHK’s Human Technologies approach is that it finds a proper place in school for many activities that the mainstream curriculum neglects or ignores.
HT suggests that we can support our growth and sense of satisfaction in our lives by attending to the ways in which we deploy technologies in five different categories of being: somatic (our bodies), cognitive (our thinking), material (our use of physical tools), social (our relationships with others) and spiritual (our understanding of ourselves).… Read more