December 18, 2010

Dalton in Poland

During the last week of November I was in Brno again, together
with Paul Bruijn and Hans Wenke we visited schools and gave seminars.
From the several visits of Dalton schools one has to be mentioned:
"Dalton Materska Skola Neklez". This small school implemented Dalton
on a very good way. This Kindergarten is partnerschool of the
Delftse Daltonschool/NL and Przedszkole Publiczne Nr.16 in Ostrowiec/PL.
The director of this school, Katarzyna Dryjas participated in a small
delegation from Poland. Together with Anna Wróbel, Ewa Lewandowska
and Ula Komonowska she visited for the first time her partner school.
A certificate underlined the co-operation.
Many Dalton activities in Poland are planned for the next year.
Several conferences will take place in April and our latest book comes
out in the Polish language.

November 10, 2010

New Dalton book?

A hectic time with different kinds of Dalton activities.
A group of 20 directors from schools in Bilbao visited Holland.
They observed several schools and made agreements for the exchange of
pupils. The Dalton secondary school "Maurick College" will stimulate
te participation of Dalton International in the "ELOS Network".
The Begonazpi Ikastola has the intention to join this network.
The group of directors was invited to a "Mini Dalton Conference" at
the Teacher Training University KPZ.
Such professional visits always end with new friendships.

Now I use my time to get inspired by a new book I bought this week.
Don't tell others, but I have the feeling this is a Dalton book.

October 25, 2010

Conference in Bilbao

Probably it seems to be that nothing happened since my last
message in this blog.
The normal work started again after summer holidays, and I had
several interesting seminars in different schools.
The translation of our German book "Daltonplan Pädagogik" is
ready and the printing of it will start soon.
The coaching of the school of my grandchildren is for me one of
the most attractive tasks during the next period.
But one of the other highlights took place last weekend in Bilbao.
The 'Begonanzi Ikastola' invited Hans Wenke and me to inform the
team of 94 teachers about Dalton education.
First of all we had the opportunity to visit several classes of
this brilliant school. We saw children at work in the age from
2 years old till the level of secondary education.
We were thrilled about the level of the education, the atmosphere
and the interaction between pupils and teachers. The buildings are
really beautiful and the school is very modern equipped.
The quality management of the school was some years ago awarded
with a European prize and one of the next steps is the orientation
on Dalton.
It was an honour to work with such an inspired group of teachers
during this conference.
Dalton International can be proud to have this new member in Bilbao.

June 9, 2010

Dalton plus class

At this moment several Dalton schools started a Dalton+class.
In these classes more gifted children are working together on
a common project in order to realize more suitable targets for
their capabilities.
Special targets are :
* learning how to learn
* learning of learning-oriented knowledge
* critical and creative thinking
* making choices and taking decisions
* planning of activities
* self evaluation and testing
* planning of processing
* development of new projects in order to continue learning
* co-operation and producing
* philosophize

It could be interesting to start an International network
of Dalton+classes

June 5, 2010

Management training

During the last weeks we worked with 34 management teams of
Dalton schools from the whole country.
In four groups 76 head teachers and Dalton co-ordinators worked
on leadership aspects and shared the "pearls" of their schools
during a Dalton Laboratory.
Wenke Dalton Consultants/KPZ is the leading institite in Holland
for Dalton in-service training, counselling and coaching.
This institute is 'Member of Dalton International' and some of
the consultants are working abroad in international projects.

May 23, 2010

Sharing Dalton

Sharing Dalton was a real topic during last weeks and not only
the title of the 14th International Dalton Conference in Brno.
More that 160 teachers participated in this conference, coming
from 9 different countries.
The network of Dalton International is growing, the mixture
between friendly and professional contacts is the most important
element. Dalton is the international cement in many initiatives.

Last week 24 directors from Kindergarten in Poland accompanied
by some teachers from universities visited Holland.
The group visited Dalton schools in Utrecht, de Meern, Amersfoort
and Leiderdorp. In the next future we expect an enormous grow of
the Dalton development in many schools in Poland.

For the next school year Dalton conferences are planned in
Thüringen/Germany, Bilbao/Spain, Warsaw and Krakow/Poland,
and Brno/Czech Republic.
In Holland our institute 'Wenkedalton/KPZ' organizes several so
called 'Mini conferences'

April 13, 2010

Shocked by the situation in Poland

Since this weekend our thoughts are with so many colleagues and
friends of our contact schools in Poland.
Just this year we have several visitors from enthousiastic schools
in Holland. Inspired teachers who want to reform their education.
On this place I want to wish them strenght and power to overcome
this tragedy.

April 2, 2010

Team School4Child visited Holland

A new leaf on the tree of Dalton International is the private school
in Lódz - Poland, 'School4Child'.
The director of the school, Anna Sowinska, took all the teachers of
the school with her on a trip to Holland.
We were lucky that one of the best Dalton schools in the Netherlands,
'De Achtbaan' in Amersfoort was in full swing last Thursday.
Teachers and children opened all the classrooms and were happy to
show the foreign visitors their way of working.
Wendy van Beurden, director of 'De Achtbaan', introduced a lot of
specialties of this school.
Teachers exchanged material and ideas, children explained in English
their week assignment.
An inspired group of enthousiastic teachers went back to Poland today.
During the conference in Brno this school will get the membership of
Dalton International.
The school likes to be active in international exchanges and is
searching in the first place for a project partner in 'Webcamclasses'.

March 27, 2010

March 24, 2010

International Dalton Conference

On May 4th the International Dalton Conference takes place in Brno.
This 14th conference is the most important Conference in the world
of Dalton.
Participants from 11 different countries can make a choice out of
14 workshops.
The international character is shaped by a special organization of
the workshops. Specialists from two different countries prepared
together a workshop about an actual topic.
Information about the conference on the website of Dalton International

March 3, 2010

The precursor of Parkhurst ?

The year before Helen Parkhurst went to Dalton, Charleton Washburne
set up a similar schooling system in the school district of Illinois.
This system is known as the "Winnetka Plan".
The Winnetka Plan emerged as a result of Evelyn Dewey's work in the
University of Chicago Laboratory School.
Dewey's work inspired teachers to attempt innovative pedagogies in
their classrooms.
Prior to the Winnetka plan, the most common practices in elementary
schools stressed the intellectual development of children by
teaching skills in reading writing, spelling, and arithmetic.
The subjects were taught by methods of memorization and drill
through books and ordered arrangements in the classrooms.
By the early 1900s, more emphasis was placed on the well-rounded
development of the child, including emotional, social, and physical,
in addition to the intellectual.
As a result, the overall-effect was a break from routine, from
formal learning through textbooks, and the emergence of more
emphasis on the individual by stressing the improvement of actual
behaviour, personality, and character.
The Winnetka Plan sought to develop the "whole child" and was
concerned with the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual

February 12, 2010


Education is what survives when what has been learned
has been forgotten.


February 11, 2010

Smart blackboard

It occurred to me how 'Smart-boards' give an obsolete effect to
education in the classroom.
In a decade that co-operative learning enriches learning strategies
and children have learned to work in teams, the smart board caused
alle noses in the same direction again.
Of course that visualizing of instruction is attractive for modern
pupils, but didactically it is nothing more than a new version of
old fashioned traditional 'whole class teaching'.
The technology and utility of the digiboard is undisputed, but the
software must be connected directly to the individual or group tables
of the pupils.
They need to work individually or in groups with the same program.
Now they are forced to have a constant view on that automatic black-
board without the possibility of being active themselves.

January 8, 2010

Educational concept

What are the criteria on which the teacher is chosen?
There was a time that my colleagues analyzed the criteria on which
I made choices : the female teachers had to be blond and beautiful.
It was not easy to explain to them it was a pure coincidence.
I was lucky that this beautiful collection happened to be a great
team of Dalton professionals. Top talent !
My real criteria were based on the Dalton concept and I was searching
for people who dared to experiment. Young teachers must get that
But what we all share is the educational concept.
The principles of the 'Dalton Laboratory Plan' are the binder.
The team of teachers can be stronger, they feel more involved in
the educational process, if we share the formulated principles.
Without an educational concept pupils are at the mercy of any group
of individual professionals.

January 5, 2010

The conflict of instruction

Why are teachers so focused on instruction?
Isn't it better to teach skills and attitude, to arouse interest
instead of explaining.
For some teachers it's the daily routine to demonstrate their own
particular knowledge, while it would be better to create space for
students to experiment.
Albert Einstein said:
"It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the
modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled
the holy curiosity of enquiry".

January 1, 2010