December 31, 2011

The last day of the year

Isn't it the best day to look back on what happened?
But let me confine myself to the progress of Dalton in my country
and abroad.
In the Netherlands the Teacher University KPZ in Zwolle is again
the best in the country. I am happy to work as a senior consultant
for this insitute together with several highly qualified Dalton
We started to develop a training structure for a "Certificate
Dalton director".
Our initiative to train the co-ordinators of
Dalton schools was a big success and is followed in the meantime by
other universities.
We stimulated networks of Dalton headteachers and also some networks
of co-ordinators started.
A new brochure with 35 topics to train teams of teachers is coming
out in two weeks.

The strongest development abroad has taken place in Poland.
Many Kindergarten have embraced the Dalton Plan, the first edition of
our newest book in the Polish language was sold out within 6 months.
School 4 Child is the first primary Dalton school in Poland.
A high qualified school with ambitious young teachers. The visit of
Howard Gardner was probably one of the highlights of this year.
The new Polish Dalton Association is cooperating closely with some
companies specialized in Dalton material.
Hans Wenke and I participated last year in five Dalton conferences
in Poland in different cities.
The Dalton development in Germany is growing and I hope that the
German Dalton Association will take their responsibility to coordinate
the brilliant initiatives in this country.
The fisrt official Dalton school in Austria will get their certificate
in March 2012. Mittelschule "Vogelweide" in Wels worked hard last
year and asked for an audit by Dalton International.
With much appreciation I like to mention the Dalton development in
Dakar / Senegal. With help of partner school 'de Twijn'/ Utrecht NL
and the University in Leiden / NL they make big steps forward with a
radiation on other parts of the society.
A fantastic Comenius project "Blogging in Europe" is mentioned many
times already in this blog. See our general blog on the left.
Partner school 'Begonazpi Ikastola' is not only the coordinator of the
project, but they also develop elements of Dalton education in their school.
In the Czech Republic we organized the 15th Dalton conference in May.

I wish all the readers and members of this Dalton blog Happy New Year.

December 30, 2011

Dalton assignment board for Kindergarten

Dalton assignment form to use in Kindergarten

On request of
some schools
I show here
my design of an
assignment form.

Most of the
Dalton Kindergarten
prefer an
assignment board.

Example of such
a board above.

December 27, 2011

December 25, 2011

A Portfolio is more than the collection of work sheets

A portfolio is a record of the pupil's process of learning:
what the child has learned and how he/she has gone about learning.
But also how he/she thinks, analyzes, produces, creates.
And how he/she interacts intellectually, emotionally and socially
with others.
Arter and Spandel (1991) define the portfolio as a purposeful
collection of student work that exhibits to the student, or others,
the efforts or achievement in one or more areas.

The material in a portfolio should be organized by chronological
order and category. All information in the portfolio has to be dated,
arranging the assignments, checklist, test results, and other
information should be simple.
Appropriate assessment of young children should involve the children
themselves, parents, and teachers. The portfolio is a tool to
stimulate self-refection.
The portfolio method promotes a shared approach to making decisions
that will affect children's attitudes toward work and school in
The portfolio is more than a collection of work sheets and exercise
books taken home several times a year.
One of my favorite workshops is the development of portfolio's.

December 23, 2011

Changing education paradigms

Sometimes you are lucky to get something valuable.
A former student sent me the link to this great speech of
Ken Robinson.
I've read his book 'The Element' two years ago and since that
moment I am a big fan of him.
His analysis of ADHD in this film is brilliant.

December 22, 2011

Multiple Intelligences

Nice introduction how to work with Multiple Intelligences in a school

Living once a week?

Some schools introduced
a 'Dalton Hour' once a week. This is a contradictio in terminis.

Dalton is a teaching method for the whole range of the educational
process in a school.
Helen Parkhurst said: "Dalton is a way of living".
The children in a Dalton school learn to take own initiatives,
to be responsible for their own learning. In Dalton schools we
train the attitude of independency and all pupils can use these
attitudes during their whole school life. Not only once a week.
Working wiith assignemnts once a week is called "project work".

December 19, 2011

The Archipelago of nice teachers

If I walk through the corridors of a school and I see all doors of the classrooms closed, I start to fear about the quality of the educational level of the school.
Of course I can’t doubt the quality of the individual teacher behind those doors.
Probably she / he creates a great atmosphere in the classroom.
Walking there the sounds coming out of the hidden classrooms explain joy or chaos, instruction or co-operation, or mysterious silence. It is the professional arrogance of every educator that we ‘feel’ immediately what’s going on.
If all the doors are open and some children can work on the corridor, it proves that teachers made agreements, that they share at least a common idea about classroom management. But it doesn’t prove that they share educational philosophy.
Quality of the educational level and innovation, the instructional characteristics of the school has to be discussed permanently between the complete teaching staff.
The staff meeting gives direction to the teaching objectives and the educational development of the school.
Some school managers think that the archipelago of nice teachers make a good school.
The ‘helicopter view’ of open doors is like the pictures in a touristic brochure, it has to impress the tourists.
Open doors can be the start of a process, but it doesn’t tell anything about the consistency of the educational vision on education.

December 18, 2011

December 17, 2011

Social structure in Kindergarten

I found this strategy
in a Dutch Dalton school.

Very useful for training
independency in social

Project Learning Contract

Before you start to work with your independent project, you will need to create a plan of what you want to learn. But also how you want to show what you’ve learned. You need to share this plan with your teacher. This plan is a part of your project.
1. Learning need :
Write here your questions related to the topic you wish to learn more about.

2. Learning resources and activities :
Think about the resources you will need ( books – computer – places to visit – interview).

3. Planning number of hours needed to accomplish your learning outcomes :
Try to list the hours spending to each of the planned activities from 2.

4. Evidence of the learning outcome :
How will you know that you have achieved the learning outcomes? List what you will use to measure, such as: cooperative audit – graphs – publication – self-assessment (see obstacle checklist by Roel Röhner).

5. How will you show what you have learned?
Presentation to the class – Wall paper – oral examination – PPT etc.

Date: ............
Signature student :

Signature teacher :

December 16, 2011

Pupils need your confidence

Children are full-fledged partners and totally equipped for their
own development.
When you express your confidence in their development, with a nice
word: development potential, you give children the chance to grow.
People which develop to the best of their abilities can’t
Speaking about development: if there is anyone who has knowledge
about it, it is the teacher. But in this sense many of them use a
limited part of their observations and experiences.
Development in school is judged by the achievement of children.
The question is if development as product, as result, is more
important than development as a process. The way of development.
The more you know about that process, the better you are able to
help. Pupils don’t need teachers to measure their results.
They need the confidence of the teachers that they will be successful.
They need their patience and questions after the problems they met.

December 15, 2011

It is very easy
to become member
of this blog.

See on the left.

Logo competition

Children from the participating schools in the Comenius project
Blogging in Europe made beautiful logos fot this project.
Please visit the general blog and you can find the results of this
logo competition by clicking the blogs of the individual
partner schools.

Course offering Dalton education

Several possibilities to be trained in Dalton aspects.

1. Dalton, an orientation
2. Dalton and school organization
3. Dalton class organization in Kindergarten
4. Dalton class organization in primary schools
5. Effective instruction and Dalton
6. Dalton and instructional design
7. Development of independent learning
8. Co-operative learning
9. How to make assignments and registration
10. Why Dalton education?
11. Dalton is no system
12. Multiple intelligences and Dalton
13. Free choice assignments
14. How actual is Dalton?
15. Effective differentiation
16. Dalton education and class management
17. How to integrate the local curriculum in Dalton?
18. Evaluation and self-reflection
19. Creating of ‘action guides’
20. Participating in the network of Dalton International

Workshops on location in combination with a Dalton conference.
Figures in mutual arrangement.
Intake for workshops, lectures or school advisory service is possible by

December 13, 2011

'Free-choice assignments' based on M.I.

Together with Wendy van Beurden and Paul Bruijn
I created many 'free-choice assignments' which children can make
independently. Files with 50 assignments for different ages.
This material has tasks for all the 8 intelligences.

ARKO editor of Dalton books

December 11, 2011

December 10, 2011

Checklist for composing an assignment in Dalton Primary schools

Choose every week some topics from the list below
to vary and to make the assignment attractive.

 can the student make the assignment independently
 is the assignment linked up to the level of the student
 did you took into account the multiple intelligences
 is this assignment stimulating independent learning
 is this assignment stimulating the cooperative learning
 does the student knows the goal of the assignment
 what kind of study skill is trained with this assignment
 does the student knows what kind of end product you expect
 is a good planning feasible for the student
 are ‘action guides’ available
 can the student be creative in finding solutions
 is it clear at what moment the student can come for extra instruction
 is the student free to choose which kind of product can be returned
 is it clear when this assignment must be ready
 are models for self-correction available
 how will you evaluate this assignment
 will this assignment be a part of the portfolio
 do you initiate a ‘self-reflection’ moment

December 9, 2011

Details about this festival
at the end of January.

Didactical respect

Yesterday I found on Facebook a very good quote of Albert Einstein.
It was published by Richard van den Berg, webmaster of Dalton
I added the cartoon next to this quote, because it is exact the
right illustration.
My friend Hans Wenke always use this illustration when he explains
the value of didactical respect.

December 7, 2011

Computer-assisted teaching

A modern teacher creates a learning setting in which children
are challenged to take initiatives. The time of only one teaching
method is over. The teacher as coach of the process.
The necessity to work on differentiation is not only connected to
children who are lagging behind or leading the group, its a process
of customized teaching for the whole group.
In other words: respect the child.
Nowadays we have to pay respect to their skills and affinity in
using computers. Its opens a new world of differentiation facillities.

Modern education is more and more development-oriented education.
This approximation is just the point to give children the space
to take initiatives.
Current innovations in accordance with the Dalton philosophy and
the challenges of today's world are reflected in our use of new
technologies. Dalton has brought to education the dynamic transfor-
mations taking place in the world of digital technologies and
communication. In addition to the best elements of a traditional
education, students are provided with an array of powerful tools
allowing them to pursue the work of their assignments with their
energies channelled toward problem solving and higher level of
thinking skills.

The Dalton School New York

December 5, 2011

Thanks to my friend Chris Edwads from Leeds.

December 3, 2011

Strange attribute

Very often I see in schools
this attribute.
Someone started to call it
Dalton cube. What an insult for Dalton.
I hope this person is the producer
and not a teacher in a Dalton school.

It is absolutely controversial to what we want to stimulate in
Dalton education.
First of all it gives an individual pupil the right to frustrate
the higher process of cooperation in a team.
Of course pupils have the right to work alone sometimes, but this
has to be decided in consultation with the teacher.
Secondly it is not a way to learn self reliance because
it is not based on a structural process. The development
of learning how to grow to independency is more complicated than
green and red.
We created 'action guides' to learn that process.
This cube has nothing to do with Dalton education. Perhaps it is
popular in traditional schools.
This cube has absolutely one value: burn it during the team
barbecue at the end of the term.

December 2, 2011

Motivation is based on respect.

Why are your pupils coming to school? What is their motivation?
Some love to go to school, because you as a teacher are able to
create a good atmosphere in your group.
You challenge your children to do the things they are able to.
Of course you don’t ask them to do what they can’t .
There is no child that wants to demonstrate the things they can’t do.
Every child knows that it is unwise to enter into this risk.
Children don’t go to school to score.
You want them to score, but they don’t.
Children go to school to go through a deal.
Is something special happening ?
They don’t remember you later as the teacher who made excellent
assignments or tests, but as the teacher who played the piano
so beautiful , played football during the school camp, or you
were the teacher who did the things that were important for
them personally.
Teachers and pupils meet each other in the first place as persons,
they judge each other on basis of personal values.
So education in the first place has inter-human importance and
at a second place an educational.
Helen Parkhurst simply said at this point : respect the child.
Only in a good relation children are able to show what they can.