If you have an ambition to become a writer, then all you need is a pencil and paper and some determination. Find a network to support you – Twitter can be a huge help. Don't give up. If you are a reader and you give The Night Rainbow a try, I'd love to hear how you get on with it. After all, in the end it's you I wrote it for...
The nature of education is rapidly changing across the world. New curricula and new approaches to teaching and learning; the changing social conditions which children and young people are growing up within; the technical and environmental challenges we all face: all these produce extraordinary pressures on the values, purposes and role of education on teachers and young people alike.
All Our Futures is Aspire's annual conference for international head teachers. The programme aims to introduce pedagogical practices which are being applied at various levels in international schools by providing participants with exclusive, intense immersive experiences in schools and to generate unique, high quality insights into teaching and learning.
We hope that you can join us to develop our mutual work, our shared conversations and our engaged presences which will lead us to constructing positive visions for our future generations of children and learners.
Dr Nick Owen, MBE, Director of Aspire Creative Enterprises
You can download the conference brochure using the link below. 20% discount if you book before the end of May!
The recent pronouncement by the current UK Secretary of State, reinstating the General Certificate of Secondary Education, will not prevent the tsunami I present in my recent article reaching land. Mr. Gove's conviction politics has done two things. Firstly, it puts the question about what we want from the UK education system starkly into focus. Secondly, it highlights the problem, ingrained within our culture, that Technology, the Arts, Design and other subjects, are the preserves of the mid to lower ability pupils. Perhaps Mr Gove is very good company on a personal level but he has led with conviction politics at the expense of research based outcomes: the resulting tensions of which we are witnessing now.
During my quiet times I imagine a time when the UK has a truly democratic, research inspired, Secretary of State for Education. It is a time when pupils of all abilities are encouraged to explore their potential by engaging with a broad curriculum, without fear of censure – and I imagine the benefits it would bring. But I look at the Year 9 'option choices' made by pupils in the school where I teach, compare them with the 'ability distribution', visualise the beach draining before the inevitable wave, and carry on.
The introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBac) has raised questions about the value of some subjects within the UK’s education system, including Design and Technology. This is the first of two papers responding to the situation. This paper is in two parts. Part One is a short summary, demonstrating that mixed messages from the UK Government are causing leading representatives of Design and Technology to realign the subject with Engineering. Part Two proposes an alternative to their proposal based on findings in a recently awarded PhD (Bradburn: 2010). This part claims that Design and Technology should place the teaching of thinking techniques (in this case creative thinking techniques) at its heart. In making this claim I provide a conceptual framework with the potential to fundamentally change Design and Technology teaching and learning. The second paper gives an account of how the creativity alternative was introduced to teachers and pupils and how it impacted upon pedagogic practice.