December 31, 2009

Just looking back

New Year's Eve is celebrated at many different moments in the world.
Time zones may be different but some things unite us.
From New York to Sydney, from Senegal to Warsaw the fireworks will
be lit and people wish each other Happy New Year.
It is good to realize that under the Dalton flag we have met so many
friends, from so many different cultures.
They are all in our hearts this evening.

December 28, 2009


In Dutch Dalton schools the weekly program of assignments
is listed on a form. And it is obvious that these forms got
The selection of work the student has to perform is made by
the teacher.
The student is responsible for the production of the work,
has to make all the assignments within the agreed time.
The 'ASSIGNMENT FORM' seems to be top-down constructed.
Only in strong Dalton schools also the sudents are involved in
composing the tasks.
Reading "The Dalton Laboratory Plan" more accurate I come to
the conclusion that the influence of the student himself on
the assignment has to be stimulated.
Therefore in many different publications from that period
several authors are speaking about CONTRACT.
I would like to encourage we start to use 'WEEKLY CONTRACT'

The characteristic of a contract is that it can't be drafted
unilaterally. There has to be influence from both sides.
To fulfill a contract both partners are responsible.

December 26, 2009

Good intentions for the New Year

What a great idea to bring flowers after Christmas Holidays for
all the children in your classroom.
They will be surprised with your kind initiative.
And as a good teacher you realize that instead of bringing cut
flowers it is necessary to learn them how to grow their own plants.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays.

December 18, 2009

International impact of The Dalton Plan

We have reports from hundreds of schools using the Dalton Plan
in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Holland,
Russia, China and Japan.
In each of the last three countries there are now over 1000 schools
which have put the Dalton Plan into operation, and in Great Britain
a much larger number.

An explanation of the Dalton Laboratory Plan
by its originator Helen Parkhurst - 1926

The international impact of The Dalton Plan was huge during the
time of educational reform.
Already more than 10 years Dalton International is stimulating a
network of innovative initiatives. Sharing good practice and
exchanging brilliant and creative ideas.
The number of Dalton schools in Europe is growing exponentially.
But it is not that quantity but the quality of the education
that counts.

December 16, 2009


The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher states.
The great teacher inspires.

William Arthur Ward

December 15, 2009


Yesterday official representatives of the City of Brno, the Region
of South Moravia and the City of Utrecht signed a memorandum in which
the cooperation between schools in both cities is established.

Daniel Rychnovsky, First Deputy Mayor of Brno, Milos Sifalda, Councillor
of the Region of South Moravia and Marka Spit, Deputy Mayor of Utrecht,
signed the memorandum.

During this ceremony Hans Marcelis as co-ordinator secondary education
and myself as co-ordinator primary education were honoured by the
Executive Board of the City of Utrecht with a beautiful glass bowl for
17 years of active participation in the city link.

Mohamed Jaater got a book with pictures from Brno and Utrecht for his
efforts in planning and co-ordination from the hands of Gertrud van Dam.

December 12, 2009

Is there more than Dalton ?

Sometimes I have to convince myself that there is more than Dalton.
This is exactly the reason that I added temporarily some of the
paintings of my favorite painter Floris Verster.
He was a brilliant colorist connected to the great Dutch period of
'The Hague School'.
Finally a school again !

December 10, 2009

Dalton modules

After several years of giving seminars and lectures about Dalton
education in other countries, more and more school teams abroad
are asking for concrete workshops on the own school level.
These practical workshops can be found on my website

In the coming months Dalton conferences are organized in :
Zvolen / Slovakia on February 4. 2010
Györszemere / Hungary on March 24. 2010
Brno / Czech Republic on May 4. 2010

December 8, 2009

Gifted pupils

Working on the organization of a 'Dalton+Class'
in order to help Dalton schools to start such a project, I've found
an interesting article of the Marston Middle School Oxford.
The objectives of this school are very close to the Dalton principles.
The school wants to endeavour to provide teaching which makes learning
challenging and enjoyable and enables pupils to realize their potential.

In a Dalton+Class we try to organize a kind of
laboratory in which pupils from different classes come together once
a week to work on a common project on differnt levels.

Gifted pupils demonstrate a significant higher level of ability than
most pupils of the same age in one or more curriculum area or in any
of these :
physical talent - artistic talent - mechanical ingenuity - leadership.

The Dalton+Class will be one of the targets for
Dalton International in the near future, starting with a workshop
during the next conference in Brno.

December 2, 2009

International inspiration

Following the weblog of Chris Edwards from Education Leeds
I was happy to read his summary of an article in the Guardian
of last weekend.
In this article a film was mentioned.
The film follows five young people and asks whether our current
system provides young people with the opportunity to develop
their talents and abilities.
Chris gives the advice to all teachers to watch it here.
and his statement :

We need a new generation of teachers to
coach, guide and support our young learners and to make
better use of technology to stretch and challenge and
connect with young peoples interests.

This is the basis of the Dalton method and the Kunskapsskolan approach where we personalise
and customise learning to meet the needs of each and
everyone of our unique learners.
We will always need great teachers to teach great lessons
but these must be surrounded by a sea of opportunities
which individual learners can access, adapt and use to
reach their personal goals.

Thank you Chris for these inspiring tips.