Sunday, April 10, 2005

'Empowering the Child.'

Very practical book Posted by Hello

For those who want some very practical advice about how to develop classrooms into personalized learning environments then this book, ‘Empowering the Child’ by Robin Clegg, is for you.

Robin is an experienced educationalist. Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit him and see him in action and I owe many of the ideas I share to his practical skill. As a classroom teacher he ranks amongst the best; a teacher with real passion for his craft. It is great that he has taken the time to pass on his ‘wisdom’ to others.

We cannot afford to lose the wisdom of such people.

Robin believes strongly in the centrality of the class teacher and the importance of creating a learning environment that allows all students to take a growing control over their own learning.

Robin quotes Piaget in his introduction, which sums up his philosophy, ‘The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done…men who are creative, inventive, and discovers.’ To bring the quote up to date, it includes woman as well!

The book shows how to develop programmes that that helps students ‘learn how to learn’ using an integrated approach and how to organize the classroom to allow increasing student choice and responsibility.

Best of all it is full of practical ideas that builds on the basic skill teaching areas of the curriculum.

The book includes informative photos of real classrooms and many equally useful diagrams.

This inexpensive book is available from Curriculum Concepts. Ordering code 090809 Let’s hope it is the first of many such books written by teachers for teachers.

Highly recommended by Leading and Learning.


Anonymous said...

Great book for teachers wanting to move into personalised teaching/learning.

Robin123 said...

Hi Bruce

Thanks for the very complimentary article that you wrote about Empowering the Child. Most of the pedagogy described in the book is due to my contact and work with you over the years.
When I look back, it seemed quite easy in the 1960's and 1970's to recognise and cater for the needs of each individual child, but adapting a programme to suit this type of teaching was a bit of a challenge at times. Surprisingly, the Department of Education and the Inspectorate in those times were nothing but supportive of our thinking and the innovations that were apparent in our classrooms.

Apart from a dedication to individualised learning, teaching in a multiclass situation probably made the emergence of the first programmes easier. There was a need to develop a good balanced programme for a class that contained pupils from Year 2 to Year 8, or sometimes pupils in all primary levels. Why not extend Year level programmes to an individualised approach.

As well as being supported and encouraged by your visits, long and meaningful discussions with people like Bill Guild, John Cunningham, Barbara van Paassen, Howard Wilson and Bruce Hinton helped us all develop a "style" of teaching that we felt comfortable with. We all taught in different ways but there was a commonality that kept our enthusiasm running in top gear.

I hope that Empowering the Child is supportive to teachers who wish to develop their own style of individualised learning programmes and I would be happy to have dialogue with educators who would like to discuss any aspect of this type of teaching.



Bruce said...

Thanks Robin

The idea of schools working together to share their expertise is the next big step. And it is happening.

ICT clusters seem to be leading the way - and they have the technology!

In the past it was individual creative teachers sharing.Today it has to be whole schools.

This will take leadership at all levels.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your comments about Robin's book and thought Robin's reply was really wonderful. Must get a copy of his book.