Friday, June 30, 2017

Creative Teachers / Teacher "burnout" /Sir Ken Robinson / Guy Claxton / digital learning and coding

Time to value creative teaches

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Shifting Needs in a Digital World
Our kids need to learn the responsible and safe use of digital devices. They need to learn not only balance but also boundaries. And as parents and educators that means modeling limits and responsible use. What message do we send our kids when we ourselves are not present but instead distracted by the device in our hands, instead of focusing on them? Technology is a tool, and with it comes a means to powerful connectivity and knowledge, but in the end, it does not replace the importance of human interaction, face to face conversations and personal relationships.’

Thirty Minutes Tops
A nice little satire.
‘As a parent, I really cannot cover everything I want my kids to learn from me in the four hours I have them at home. I really like my kids teachers and I really appreciate all the work they do during the day, but due to the short amount of time I have my kids at home, I’m going to have to send some work back to school with my kids to complete during the seven hours they spend in the classroom. I apologize for the negative impact this work might have on the teachers and the rest of the class.’

Preaching the Value of Social Studies, in a Second Career
While spending anywhere from several weeks t o half a year on a topic might seem excessive, she said, students are really learning not just about that particular topic, but about how to study something. They’re learning that, when studying a culture, they need to look at a variety of features, like religious beliefs, economy and gender roles. When studying a system or an organization, they need to look, as Ms. Switzer often says, at “the tools, the rules, the consumers, and the workers.”’

Is it okay for children to count on their fingers?
‘Is it OK for children to count on their fingers? Generations of pupils have been discouraged by their teachers from using their hands when learning maths. But a new research article shows using fingers may be a much more important part of maths learning than previously thought.

7 reasons why 'marking' sucks
‘Inside the Black Box by Black &Wiliam, should be compulsory reading for all teachers, trainers and lecturer, so it was a delight to see him give a masterclass in assessment with solid, evidence-based advice that you can apply straight from the hip in teaching. Marking may do more damage than most educators realise. It is a summative assessment technique, all too often wrongly used in formative assessment.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

The need to place creativity central to all learning.
Bruce’s latest article.
‘Existing research has recognised that successful/creative people in any discipline use creativity to enhance their thinking but until now this has not been applied to exemplary teachers.  The study focussed on how exceptional teachers use creativity in the classroom and was based on in-depth interviews with highly accomplished teachers.’

Sir Ken Robinson: How to Create a Culture For Valuable Learning
‘“If you design a system to do something, don’t be surprised if it does it,” Robinson said at the annual Big Picture Learning conference called Big Bang. He went on to describe the two pillars of the current system — conformity and compliance — which undermine the sincere efforts of educators and parents to equip children with the confidence to enter the world on their own terms.’

How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms
Not just an American issue:
‘Last year, Microsoft and helped push for a career-education bill that, education researchers warned, could prioritize industry demands over students’ interests. Among other things, t
hey said, it could sway schools to teach specific computer programming languages that certain companies needed, rather than broader problem-solving approaches that students might use throughout their lives.“It gets very problematic when industry is deciding the content and direction of public education,” said Jane Margolis, a senior researcher at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.’

There's an essential skill not being taught enough in classrooms today
‘That skill is thinking. “Most teachers never really ask students to think very deeply…. Most of what is assigned and tested are things we ask students...“Most teachers never really ask students to think very deeply…. Most of what is assigned and tested are things we ask students to memorize,” ., a common underlying problem is this “dearth of critical thinking skills.”

Personalized Learning Is NOT Inclusion!
‘Personalized learning must not be mistaken for inclusion. The reality is that it’s student
An ability group of one
isolation!Inclusion is generally defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Doing schoolwork on a digital device by yourself is not inclusion. It’s ability grouping for one.’

Alarm raised over principals' burnout rate
I can really relate to this.
Rural school principals are struggling to cope with the demands of their job and the Educational Institute says it wants more help for them. The problem was highlighted at a recent meeting of principals who ran schools so small that they had to teach in the classroom as well as manage the school, the institute said.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Guy Claxton - building learning power.
Great book
“We need, says Claxton, 'to provide our students with the emotional and cognitive resources to become the 'confident, connected, life long learners' ; the vision of the NZ Curriculum . To achieve this is all about powerful pedagogy.The important thing, he said, was to infuse the Key competencies into every thing that happens at school and not see them as a 'bolt on’.”
Write Now Read Later
‘These days reading, or better still the language arts ( now called by a more technocratic title 'literacy') seems to have been taken over by academics who are pushing a phonemic approach onto schools - 'P' Pushers! This is an approach that distorts the organic relationship between experience, oral language, writing and reading - all premised on a need to make meaning and to communicate.’

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The need to place creativity central to all learning.

Do we need to be more creative in our schools?

Prologue – the failure of the current approach

For three decades educational provision has been influenced by neo-liberal politics beginning with the establishment of Tomorrows Schools. Introduced by the Third Labour Government all schools were made self-governing controlled by locally elected School Boards of Trustees and encouraged to compete with each other. No other country has devolved its schools to such an extent.

A New Zealand National Curriculum was later introduced that required schools to be able to account for student’s achievement over a range of learning areas ; essential skills, possibly the most valuable aspect of this new curriculum ,unfortunately were neglected as schools focussed their energy  assessing students against an impossible number of learning objectives.

The tasks asked of schools were all but impossible and a more enlightened New Zealand Curriculum 2007 was introduced by a Labour Government and  this was welcomed by schools – the most interesting aspect was the inclusion of learning competencies. Unfortunately this new curriculum was all but side-lined by the National Government’s National Standards which required schools to focus on testing and assessing students as on, below or above standards in literacy and numeracy.

Prior to ‘Tomorrows Schools’ teachers played a key role in developing educational innovations but as the years passed teachers were more asked to ‘deliver’ educational outcomes as defined by the Ministry of Education.

One would’ve hoped that all this change might have resulted in students achieving to a higher degree than in earlier days but sadly this is not the case.

Our education system is failing.
Prof Elley

According to Emeritus Professor Warwick Elley New Zealand’s education system is failing an entire generation. In 1990 in a world education literacy survey NZ came fourth,  a decade later NZ came second only to Finland in reading but Elley says ‘it has all gone downhill ever since,’ Over PISA’s  fifteen year history NZ’s average score for maths has dropped by more than any other country. – 40 points. In reading has dropped by 20 points.

Anglo-Saxon/American schools all failing.

The three nations that have fallen furthest since PISA began are all Anglo-Saxon – in order Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  New Zealand has the widest gaps between top and bottom students. Our wide gaps are dragging us down.

All the Anglo –American countries have one thing in common, they all have governments that have implemented neo-liberal politics.

Requiring schools to compete and be able to show success in a narrow range of learning areas – the National Standards in primary schools and NCEA targets in secondary schools.  Professor Elley writes that such an approach is dragging children down by focussing teaching on what is tested in literacy, numeracy and writing and ignoring broader knowledge and skills. Schools are also open to ‘gaming’ the system. The heavy surveillance and assessment culture does not create a culture that encourages teachers to be creative; that is not to say there are not creative teachers and schools but they exist in spite of the system.

There are a number of other respected educators who are equally concerned about the direction our system has taken and are concerned about the challenges needed to improve educational provision for all students to develop a system predicated on the development of the gifts and talents of all students.

Before the introduction of ‘Tomorrows Schools’ the creativity of teachers was valued and teachers were involved at all levels of curriculum development and, as well, there was considerable collaboration between schools and sharing of teacher expertise.

Throughout New Zealand, prior to Tomorrows Schools, there were well recognised creative teachers and it is to such teachers we  now need to turn to. What is now required is a high trust system that encourages diversity and risk taking within the framework provided by the all but side-lined 2007 New Zealand Curriculum.

The alternative, the need to place creativity central for future learning

With this in mind it was interesting to read a paper published in the American Teachers College Record (Volume 117 Number7 2015) headed: ‘We teach Who We Are: Creativity in the Lives and Practices of Accomplished Teachers’. The paper was written with the knowledge that the current US emphasis on high stakes testing and standard based teaching has impeded the creativity of teachers and learners.

The premise was there is a strong sense that creativity should be nurtured in classroom settings yet there is little understanding how effective and creative teachers function.

 Existing research has recognised that successful/creative people in any discipline use creativity to enhance their thinking but until now this has not been applied to exemplary teachers.  The study focussed on how exceptional teachers use creativity in the classroom and was based on in-depth interviews with highly accomplished teachers.

Creativity needs to be nurtured in our schools

Many educationalists (including such people as Sir Ken Robinson) recognise the significance of creative abilities in modern society and  that creativity need to be nurtured in educational environments. The study sought to investigate how teacher’s beliefs about creativity influence their classroom practice; what personal interests and passions do creative people have ; and how personal creativity inspires their creativity in teaching?

Defining creativity.

The study recognises that creativity can be seen as a fuzzy construct. It can be described at a general level as the production of useful solutions to problems, or interesting or novel solutions; creating  original products. Two common factors from all definitions are novelty (newness, originality, uniqueness) and effectiveness (value, usefulness, quality). 

Recent research in defining teacher creativity

The research wanted to define a clearer picture of creative teaching.  In what ways is creativity actualised in the classroom and what are the teaching practices of successful teachers?

Creativity is an attitude towards life.

Looking a creativity generally ‘creativity is as much a decision about and an attitude towards life as it
is a matter of ability’ (Sternberg). This suggests a “rounded” view of creative people, i.e., creative people would approach matters creatively even in areas outside their expertise. Creative people combine knowledge from a wide range of knowledge bases, interests and experiences, from which a person draws inspiration and suggests creativity is a sustained way of thinking and living and contributes to the idea of a “prepared mind”. A depth and variety of interests provide content to make comparisons and draw analogies similar to the material an artist would use to create an original piece of work. Creative people, with their range of influences, have an openness to towards that allows them to move into unexpected outcomes.

Do creative teachers exhibit such combinational skills?

Are teachers creative interests central to their classroom accomplishments? The report researches such possibilities? Creativity is a difficult subject of research but the decision was to ask creative teachers themselves. Research honed in to the creative practices, interests and thought process of a particular group of exceptional teachers across all school age groups.

The main research questions were:

1.      What do teachers believe about creativity and how do they define it?
2.      How is creativity instantiated in successful teaching?
3.      Does the personal creativity of successful teachers impact on their professional teaching creativity and what kind of interests do they pursue?

All teachers incorporated universal definitions of creativity (newness and effectiveness) but they also defined in ways specific to teaching and this included things such as a student central focus of creativity and that creativity is accessible to all students.

Creative mindset
Creativity as a Mind-set

The most persuasive ideas of teachers were their belief in having an ongoing mind-set of creative teaching – a habit of mind and an openness of thinking and an enthusiasm for trying new things. Such teachers are always on the lookout for ideas to apply to their teaching.

How is creativity actualised in the teachers’ classrooms?

The first theme that emerged was the notion of intellectual “risk taking as a key element in their teaching and allows them to approach things differently and allows them to come up with new and interesting approaches to teaching. The really god teachers are not rule followers and like to create a classroom environment where students feel able to make and learn from their mistakes.; to try out new ideas and manage ambiguity.

Real world learning
Emphasizing real world learning.

Another theme that emerged was the need to emphasize real world or authentic learning. The real world component that successful teachers engage in is also integral to effective teaching suggesting it is critical for students to engage in real life purposes – “real’ here means real in the lives of students, relevant and connected to their own lives. Such lessons are both creative and effective.

Cross disciplinary curricular connections.

Science, art, teach and maths study
Cross curricular thinking was another theme with the content from one subject illuminating a totally different subject. The crisscrossing of topics and subjects is not necessarily something that is easy given rigid subject timetables and the standardised curriculums of current educational policy. Integrated teaching is easier at the younger levels but the imposition of National Standards has made it more difficult. Creative teachers however find ways to find ways to work cross –curricular thinking into their practice. Creative teachers have a more fluid approach to subject matter boundaries which allows them to implement cross curricular teaching.

How does personal creativity contribute to professional creativity and what kind of creative interests do they pursue and how do these things influence and connect with their teaching?

The majority of the teachers included had personal interests that tended to fall into music and the arts and/or physical realms while others were involved in such things as writing, gardening, nature, travel, and in particular subjects.
Valuing personal interests

Every teacher had ways to draw on his or her own creative passions into their classrooms. Those accomplished in particular creative activities were able to appreciate the vagaries of the creative process appreciating it is not a simple linear process and were able to apply such insight to student creativity.

We teach who we are.

Creative interests in any field are a part of who we are; being creative comes out in the teachers’ teaching. Insights gained from such interests influenced the teachers thinking in their classrooms and often play directly into the teaching process. Many teachers expressed that it is hard to separate their life as a teacher into compartments.

Conclusions of the research

Teachers in the study defined creativity in ways that align with traditional definitions of creativity; teachers felt creative mind-set was important for teaching to   allow “cross pollinating” of knowledge and to be open to new ideas from other disciplines or experiences.

Thinking out of the box
All teachers expressed that utilizing real world experiences, cross curricular connections, and a willingness to take intellectual risks. All these themes support each other support each other within a rich, integrated, and integrated approach to teaching.  Creative teachers co-opt their personal interests and creativity, and use them in effective teaching techniques and that such creative interests had a profound impact on the ways they teach.

The Challenge for Teaching Today.

The role of teacher creativity has not been given the importance it deserves. The report recommends that pre-service training ought to help teachers tap into their own personal creativity and learn how to infuse this into their teaching practice. Pre-service teachers need to be involved in cross disciplinary curriculum development being offered course with a special focus on integrating the disciplines.  Such integrated approaches are sometimes offered for elementary (primary) pre-service teachers, but given the nature and structure of our traditional education system, secondary teachers are often in their own “silos” and such course are rarely offered to those who might benefit most. The development of “modern
learning environments”, where teams of teachers work with groups of students, makes this provision more important.

Implications for Educational Policy.

The role of creativity in education is not clear and is interpreted in a variety of ways. The report recommends the importance of infusing creativity in pre-service training.

The report also recommends helping pre–service teachers tap into their own personal creativity to help teachers see themselves as creative individuals and, not is often the case, only for the talented few. Teachers should also be helped to see a link between their creative interests and hobbies with teaching practice and to appreciate the integrating of cross-disciplinary knowledge.

Pre-training should also offer students courses with special focus on integrating the disciplines/ learning areas.  This would be particularly important for secondary trainees as secondary teachers are often restricted in their subject areas. Such course would be ideal for teachers who are appointed to teach in the new flexible modern learning environments. 

In recent decades education policy in the United States (and in such countries as New Zealand) has seen a definitive focus on standardisation and accountability with measurable targets  that have the adverse effects of killing curiosity, creativity, and enjoyment in learning; in short all of the things that stimulate a desire to learn in school and throughout life. When teachers are deprived of the opportunity to foster creativity in their classrooms students cannot begin to develop a mastery of critical or creative thinking abilities.

There is little doubt the emphasis of assessment and assessment focused on standards has impeded the fostering of creativity. This is problematic because society needs creative thinkers in business, mathematics, technology, and the sciences and to solve environmental issues as well as in literature, the arts and music. Such creativity provides the driving force to move society forward.
A creative mindset

Infusing a creative mind-set in teaching is the best way to ensure progress and makes a creative education central to continual progress in all areas of life.

The time is right to move away from the current technocratic accountability education which does not uphold creativity’s importance or give it appropriate attention in curriculum initiatives.

The research about creativity in teaching has illustrated the importance of attracting and employing creative teachers with an eye towards ensuring that the authentic, artistic, aesthetic, cross-curricula open minded, and risk taking mind-set of creative teachers can serve the needs of the future

Friday, June 23, 2017

How students learn/ test mania / stressed teachers / lessons from Leonardo da Vinci

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

To Help Students Learn, Engage the Emotions
Emotion is essential to learning, Dr. Immordino-Yang said, and should not be underestimated or misunderstood as a trend, or as merely the “E” in “SEL,” or social-emotional learning. Emotion is where learning begins, or, as is often the case, where it ends. Put simply, “It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things that you don’t care about,” she said.’

Let’s Stop With The Worksheets And Create Engaged Readers
‘Picture a classroom full of youngsters. They could be darling, chubby-cheeked kindergartners or swaggering, confident high school seniors – or anything in between. Can you see them? Now, picture this class engrossed in reading. What does being engrossed in reading look like? What does it sound like? What evidence exists that true, engaged reading is taking place?

Children need to be in the right mental state to learn effectively
Taking action early enables vulnerable children to rebuild their self-esteem and take responsibility for their emotions, behaviour and learning. The outcome will be that they re-engage with education, perform well and are confident and happy young people.

Montessori Was the Original Personalized Learning. Now, 100 Years Later, Wildflower Is Reinventing the Model
‘Students guiding their own learning with minimal teacher direction — it’s a personalized learning dream. But this is a Montessori school, following a century-old model that has been doing personalized learning since before it even had a name. That model was the creation of physician and innovator Maria Montessori, who opened her first school in Rome in 1907 and built educational materials around her belief in children’s natural desire to explore their world.’

Saying ‘No’ To Best Practices
‘The worst best practice is to adhere to, or go searching for, best practices. I have been in countless rooms with teachers, technologists, instructional designers, and administrators calling for recommendations or a list of tools they should use, strategies that work, practices that cannot fail to produce results in the classroom. But digital tools, strategies, and best practices are a red herring in digital learning.’

A Brief History of the "Testocracy," Standardized Testing and Test-Defying
‘Who are these testocrats who would replace teaching with testing? The testocracy, in my view, does not only refer to the testing conglomerates—most notably the multibillion-dollar Pearson testing and textbook corporation—that directly profit from the sale of standardized exams. The testocracy is also the elite stratum of society that finances and promotes competition and privatization in public education rather than collaboration, critical thinking, and the public good.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Measuring What Matters: A Framework Review
Good habits are at least as important as basic skills when it comes to success in college and work. The ability to self-manage, interact successfully, and make good decisions (often called social emotional learning) pays big life dividends. The ability to apply creative know how in new situations is at least as important as historical and technical knowledge.
This post reviews several whole-student outcome frameworks, particularly those that attempt to describe and measure productive dispositions and habits.’

On Teaching Well: Five Lessons from Long Experience
‘Today I turned 70 years old. I have no idea how this happened. I was going along, struggling to do the best I could and then suddenly I woke up and this old guy was staring back at me from the mirror. Turning 70  I wanted to celebrate with you, my esteemed readers. And so I share five lessons I have learned from a career in education spanning nearly 50 years.’

The 5 Biggest Reasons Why Teachers Quit the Profession
‘Recently on our Facebook page, WeAreTeachers posted an infographic from the Learning Policy Institute which addressed many of the frustrations and issues teachers are dealing with in today’s education culture. The infographic illustrated the top reasons cited as to why teachers quit the profession.The topic definitely struck a chord with our readers. We received an overwhelming amount of feedback to the post, with teachers sounding off on issues from challenging physical and emotional work conditions to health and personal reasons.’

‘I wake at 2am worrying about the children’: the headteachers leaving Britain's schools
Leaving after 30 years
Why are head teachers leaving British schools? Coming soon to NZ!
‘On 31 August, after 29 years and 43 days first as a teacher, then a deputy, then a head, Sandell will be standing down in protest at what she sees as a crisis in education. “We are short-changing our children, and by that we are short-changing the nation,” she says.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Straightjackets for creative teachers.
‘It is no fun being a creative teacher in what is essentially a conformist education system - the more so as you move up the levels of schooling. It is to creative teachers however we need to look to if we are ever to change the current focus from achievement to realizing the diverse talents of all students.’

The da Vinci Code
Leonardo  was a man for his time and for our own. Indeed some people call our current era the beginning of the 'second Renaissance' – or the 'new era of ideas and creativity’. We need to follow his example if we are to capitalize on the new understandings about learning and the immense power of information technology we now have available to us. Imagine if we could design schools that could tap into the questing intelligences of the young people who enter our schools today so full of hope and imagination.’

Friday, June 16, 2017

New Zealand Education / Helicopter parents / Achievement gaps / Finland and creative principals ?

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Pass on to creative teachers you know

Helicopter Parents Are Raising Unemployable Children
‘Helicopter parents are in the news a lot these days. These are the parents who can't stop hovering around their kids. They practically wrap them in bubble wrap, creating a cohort of young adults who struggle to function in their jobs and in their lives. Helicopter parents think that they're doing what's best for their kids but actually, they're hurting their kids' chances at success. In particular, they're ruining their kids' chances of landing a job and keeping it.’

The Reading Achievement Gap: Why Do Poor Students Lag Behind Rich Students in
Reading Development?
What has become clear over the past 35 years is that low-income students learn as much during each school year as do middle-class students (Alexander, Entwisle & Olson, 2007: Hayes & Grether, 1983; Heyns, 1978). But every summer, when school is not in session, kids from low-income families lose two or three months of reading growth, and middle-class kids add a month of reading growth.’

Play Misunderstood: The Divide Between Primary Classroom Teachers And Senior Managers
Teachers of children in years 1–3 are now recognising the need to respond to their students in a more developmentally appropriate manner at a time when more and more children are struggling to fit the mould that once was the traditional classroom. Yet many of these teachers report a key barrier to effectively implementing a learning-through-play approach in their classroom to be that of their school management team and colleagues.’

Rock On! How I Taught Focus to a Class That Wouldn't Sit Still
‘As a teacher, every now and then we come across a class with an abundance of energy. Sometimes so much energy that teaching seems like an impossible mission. Students fidget with their hands, feet, dance in their stools and engage in constant side conversations with their classmates.’

The author
Your Pedagogy Might be More Aligned with Colonialism than You Realize
What if I told you that prevailing attitudes toward the language practices that students bring into the classroom are rooted in colonial, often racist, logic? What if I told you that by not disrupting these kinds of attitudes in your classroom, your pedagogy might be more aligned with colonialism than you realize?’

‘There is something childishly naive about the bureaucratic belief in the power of paperwork to bend reality. This is not a new feature in education. You may recall that Race To The Top and RttT Lite (More waivers, less money) both featured a required plan for moving high-quality teachers around to districts in need. Nobody ever figured out how such a thing could possibly be achieved-- but everybody had a plan about how to achieve it. The grandaddy of modern useless paperwork would have to be all the district plans for "aligning" curriculum…’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

National Standards and the Damage Done, by Martin Thrupp
Martin Thrupp
‘We will all have our views on the pros and cons of the National Standards policy and there’s likely to be some truth in even highly divergent points of view because education is complex and contextualised and so much depends, doesn’t it – it depends on the school, the classroom, the teacher, even the individual child. But my argument will be that on balance the National Standards are taking us down a data-driven path that will be very damaging for the culture of our schools and classrooms and for the education of individual children.

Schools don’t prepare children for life. Here’s the education they really need
Lucy Cosslett
‘It’s only after you have left school and, in adulthood, gained a bit of distance, that you can be fully aware of the gaps in your education. History is a prime example. A group of British people together around a pub table and can probably weave together some kind of cohesive narrative across the centuries. In isolation, however, what you discover is that one person did the Romans, another the second world war, and a third spent two years on medieval crop rotation. Meaning that as a school leaver, you’ll have a vague idea about how it all fits together, but whole epochs remain shrouded in mystery.’

Finland's new, weird school 'courses' say a lot about how we teach our kids.
I don't know if you've noticed this, but there is no such job as “math."
‘Rather than teach subjects as dry, separate ingredients, from now on, it's all cooking together.Finland's concept is called "phenomenon-based learning." Here's how it works:Rather than focus on one subject like math, students and teachers sit down and pick a real-world topic that interests them — climate change, for example — which is then dissected from different angles. What's the science behind it? How are nations planning on dealing with it? What literature is there about it?’

Back to the Future: How has economic policy influenced the development of education policy and how the educational achievement of children in New Zealand primary schools is measured?
‘My final assignment for my Masters of Education paper, Education Policy traces the history of Standards in primary education and how we have come full circle from our original Standards
based education, when compulsory education was established in New Zealand in the late 19th century, to the disestablishment of the Standards in the 1950s, through the development of a variety of assessment tools from the 1960s through into the 2000s and then the reintroduction of Standards in 2009’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Creative Leadership lessons from Stoll and Temperley
‘Creative schools depend on creative leadership. The trouble these days is that the pressures on
principals to: be seen by parents as doing what is expected, from analysing endless tests ( all too often in a narrow range of capabilities); coping with the imposition of National Standards; and most of all pressure to comply with Ministry and the  Education Review Office requirements,  being creative is the last thing on principals minds. And of course creativity was never something one thought of when thinking about school principals!’
Bring back the Jesters

Modern boards of directors are a bit like medieval courts where no one questions the king or the senior courtiers because they have become far too important to challenge. And as long as they can’t possibly be wrong, they can continue doing the wrong things all the time and never know it.The idea is worth spreading throughout all organizations to combat the blindness created by past success. It is one way to counteract the conformity which pervades top down management.