|Based on a visit to a colonial cottage|
I have had the opportunity to drop off some material to local schools and it has made me think that it is time for schools to focus on and share the ideas of creative classroom teachers.
It does seem to me that far too much valuable time is spent on complying to requirements from those well removed from the reality of the classroom. An emphasis on National Standards data comes to mind. And schools are spending too much time taking advice from people whose teaching experience is somewhat suspect.
In 1976 I attended a 'The Creative Arts' conference held in Dunedin and searched for, and found , my copy of the book. The presentation given by the then National Adviser on art Gordon Tovey drew my attention.
In his presentation Gordon spoke of teachers being to concerned with the verbal and mathematical and not tapping into the students' creative and poetic potential.
The artistic process is important but so are the finished results and that these ought to represent the diversity of their makers. These need to be valued and celebrated as they give children meaningful growth and pride of achievement.
This is about doing things well and the need to learn techniques and skills in the process.
Gordon and his team of art advisers were seminal in spreading innovative integrated related arts programmes in the 60s and 70s .Perhaps the best known of these teachers was Elwyn Richardson whose book 'In The Early World' ( recently reprinted) remains an inspirational book. Another creative teacher of this era was Sylvia Ashton Warner.
Gordon listed his aims:
Secondly, to learn to work with others... to ensure satisfying collective statements.
Thirdly, to come to know and understand the environment, and through intuitive and imaginative powers of expression, become a responsive part of it.
|Mastery of technique|
And finally,through these to foster self reliance on firmly based ...attitudes and expressive abilities so as to enable the recurring challenges of change to be met as an inevitable part of growth
This still sounds great to me and easily aligned with the intent of the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum.
|Find this book New Plymouth student observing|
In our province of Taranaki I worked with a group of teachers to implement the ideas above ( we are included in the book) combining ideas from Elwyn, Sylvia and Gordon Tovery plus an emphasis on developing inquiry programmes and in turn developing stimulating room environments to celebrate students achievement
|One teacher'a creativity - and his students|
Several publications were published locally and acquired by other teachers at the time. The most impressive was 'A World Of Difference' by Bill Guild. Our work integrated ideas gained from experience and observations of innovative English Junior schools in 1969.
|Learning to look|
The point of this blog is to remind teachers that the best way to get great ideas about teaching is from fellow teachers in your own own and other schools.
Visiting such teachers is the most powerful professional development of all.
|A must have!!!|
My advice is to search such teachers out and, as Sir Ken Robinson title of his latest book is subtitled says begin the 'Revolution from the Ground Up'.
|Imagine the time, skill and pride of achievement|
The importance of doing fewer things well