Sunday, July 25, 2010

Exemplifying slowness with learners

How might this be used as a starter to get our students talking about slowness?

Praise of Slowness from Didier Weemaels on Vimeo.

In Praise of Slow

Following a visit to Baverstock Oaks School, Mary suggested a good read for the team might be In Praise of Slow. I did some googling to see where we might purchase it and came across this Ted Talk by the author himself. Well worth the watch to see how we might take the messages into our work and life.

Happiness, Is That It?

What is the ultimate outcome we are aiming for in education? Many educational visions have words such as Life long learning, success, achievement, making a difference etc. But why these words? What does achievement lead to? What about success? Achievement to earn lots of money? Dan Pinks book Drive would suggest quite the contrary. So what are we upon this earth for? The more I reflect on this rather large and philosophical answer is, that we aim to be happy! When happiness prevails one experiences an incredible sense of fulfillment. This has led me to then ask, what is one doing when feeling that sense of delight and happiness? I've tried asking this of myself of late. I am lost in time when I am involved in the things I am most happy doing - singing, dialoguing philosophically with colleagues, helping someone out, spending time with my nieces and nephews etc
How do we actively build a self awareness in our students around what makes them happy? If school is to be a place that harnesses and builds on each individuals sense of happiness and fulfillment then we can't leave it to chance.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sharpening Strengths

I have been doing lots of wondering about how to best build confident, connected, life long learners. I believe there is a place to actively build a learners capacity to learn. This encompasses building self awareness and self efficacy in learners, it's about knowing when to persevere and when to stop. It's building mastery and competence in foundation areas to be able to access learning, problem solve and think critically across curriculum areas. Importantly I am coming to think that it is about seeking out and identifying learners strengths and talents and being quite deliberate at setting goals in these areas to self improve and achieve fulfillment, mastery, satisfaction and ultimately happiness. All too often we over emphasize setting goals in areas of need only. Mark Tredwell once said in a conversation some months back that the world is running out of experts. Are we schooling for generalists? Can it be too soon (primary years) to hone in on strengths. What do parents know about their child's strengths and character traits that we can learn from on enrolment in our schools. I am not sure that the parents voice and historic overview is valued as much as it might be. How might this be captured on enrolment?
I believe talents can be used to leverage success in areas that don't come to easily for learners.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Go Sir Ken Robinson

How refreshing to view Ken Robinsons latest Ted Talk. He shares how time takes a different course when individuals are involved in things that resonates with their spirit. Ken reinforces the importance of moving from a linear process of learning to a more organic process that allows individuals to flourish and realise dreams.

Poker Chips - Building Self Esteem

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Importance of Playing to Strengths

It was refreshing to view this clip again this morning in a Keynote from Denise Quinlan. It helps to reminds us how important it is to encourage our learners to identify and sharpen their strengths. "Developing our strengths reduces strengths and increases happiness" Seligman et al, 2005

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Thanks to Denise Quinlan for her presentation at the NZPF conference. I was taken and moved by her talk on gratitude. She probed us by asking some great questions around how we show gratitude in the workplace, our meetings, the playground. She shared how gratitude can be helpful for children as it has the potential to
*Encourage social connection
*Create upward spirals of emotion
*Promote well being
*Facilitate learning
*Can be developed

Here's a moving clip that Denise shared at the end of the session.