Thursday, 26 May 2011

Rethinking our Jargon

Late May and I have 4 weeks left at my current international school. I have made the major career decision to return home after 9 years away from the Australian Education System (well, the Victorian one, since Australia is only just on the cusp of developing a nationwide curriculum).

So I find myself in rather an odd situation! What exactly should I be applying for? I've been a principal for the past 6 years and fortunately, I have been in IB PYP schools, so I have that pedagogy, philosophy and language in common with a handful of Melbourne schools. But in all other areas I am finding that everything has changed - for the better to be sure - but dramatically changed.

First challenge has been getting my Victorian Institute of Teaching registration. For 25 years the system stayed the same, but while I was away, changes were made which meant that I needed to go through the whole registration process all over from scratch. For me that includes a police record check from every country I have lived in for more than 12 months. Pleased to say I almost have all the necessary documentation. If you happen to be in a similar situation be warned - this is a very long and potentially frustrating process.

Next step is to look at the jobs on offer. I feel like Dorothy - certainly not in Kansas anymore. I need to show an intimate knowledge of VELS, PoLT, and e5 not to mention the highly specialized language of the types of positions. Oh ... the international school world is so much simpler!

So it got me to musing - wouldn't it be wonderful if the whole world shared similar terminology for standards of practice, philosophies of education, approaches to assessment, use of information technology and the goals of collegial, constructive relationships? 

In the meantime, I'm off to correlate my own pedagogical experience with the PoLT, make sense of the VELS and show how well I have worked as a e5 proponent!! (You'll have to look them all up like I did!) Don't get me wrong - it's all great stuff and I am impressed with how far Victoria has come in such a relatively short time! But do we have to have such specialized nomenclature?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Teaching for Creativity

I think one of the most challenging of the Primary Years Programme Attitudes to teach really well is the area of Creativity, perhaps because to many of us, the term initially conjures the idea of being creative in an artistic sense and as this article (and many of the related links on the page) show, there is somewhat more to creativity.

The link below gives some excellent ideas on ways to develop an inventive, divergent way of looking at the world, and also discusses some of the blocks to creativity that occur in many schools every day - I know I have been guilty of several!

Mr Bartel challenges many 'tried and true' approaches to teaching art and creativity, and challenges us to rethink our approach. I hope you find his ideas as interesting as I did!