The Successful School: Creative Teaching and Learning Approaches

The Successful School: Creative Teaching and Learning Approaches

The Successful School: Creative Teaching and Learning Approaches

The Successful School: Creative Teaching and Learning Approaches

Synopsis

This book is about a unique school. It is a school that, despite the increasing pressure put upon it by changes in the curriculum and the organisation of education, has managed to successfully maintain the creative values that have won it international and governmental recognition. Written for teachers and headteachers who want to encourage creativity in their schools and classrooms, the book describes: * the school's culture of holism * its use and appreciation of its grounds and environment for learning * its innovative approaches to curriculum organisation * its appropriation of national initiatives such as the literacy and numeracy hours * its creative teaching and learning through the eyes of observers, teachers, children and parents. The success of Coombes School shows that it is possible to combine externally imposed prescription with a set of personal beliefs and values - making a real difference to the quality of teaching and learning. This is a truly inspirational read.

Excerpt

This is a book about one particular school, a highly successful one judged by a number of criteria, with a national and international reputation. Its publication will coincide with the retirement of its first long-serving headteacher, and in some ways might be seen as a celebration of her life and work, which has been devoted to the advancement of the school. But the book is more than this, offering to other schools at all levels examples of how creative teachers with their own strong beliefs and values can not only come to terms with a heavily prescriptive programme governed by contrary principles, but to some extent at least incorporate it within their own design.

In recent years, child-centredness, 'Plowdenism', 'progressivism', group teaching, creativity, even the notion of 'relevance' (Woodhead, 1995) have taken a hammering in the government's drive for their limited version of raised standards of education. Teachers have struggled with the degree of prescription and constant overload. Coping is an issue in itself, teachers' creativity being diverted into how to manage. For those who go along with the managerialist, market-orientated, performativist cast of the reforms, there is no problem. But what are those who believe in Montessori, Froebel, Dewey, Vygotsky, Bruner and others to do? Coombes provides one notable approach to a solution, one that salvages the best features of the reforms and embraces them within their own discourse.

Among the lessons to be learned here, we would argue, is the need for teachers to have a strong political consciousness. Education and politics cannot be separated in the current climate, though government reforms are often presented as educational 'common sense' (Woods and Wenham, 1995) - part of the rhetoric or 'spin' to win popular support for them. Teachers need to understand the

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.