February 28, 2014

     I developed a game for the team of teachers in a Dalton school.

Playing this game all participants get new inspiration and together they create a clear insight in the common vision on Dalton education.

Take your time to reflect

Using reflection promotes an atmosphere that raises achievement and encourages quality in all aspect of schoolwork. In order to be effective the teacher needs to be self-reflective and confident. She/he needs to be able to model what she expects in the pupils. Authenticity is so important here as the pupils will spot inconsistencies. Being real and accepting that none of us is perfect is important to share with the pupils.
The teacher should also be a good listener, should respect pupils and develop positive relationships with each one. Socratic questioning, using questioning to enable pupils to develop their thinking, is also a key teaching skill that bridges the gap between what a pupil needs to know and then understands.

Reflection aids the development of good relationships between pupils and between adults and pupils. It promotes the climate for pupils to take responsibility for their learning. The teacher's responsibility is to focus on developing an attitude of mind in the pupil that encourages them to take responsibility. Pupils, as do staff, need positive affirmation. The ideal atmosphere in the classroom supports the notion that teacher and pupil are joint partners in the learning process. This attitude creates a feeling of equal respect and a relationship of working together.

Teachers are most effective when they are giving pupils appropriate questions to consider that extend their thinking. Sufficient time to reflect on teacher questions before being required to answer is so very important in discursive lessons. If not given, the pupil searches for a quick answer that will satisfy the teacher. If the answer is incorrect, then the teacher is likely to ask another simpler question, and so on, until the pupil answers a question correctly. This practice is of limited value in helping the pupil to develop appropriate reflective thinking skills. Reflection gives the pupil times to practice being aware of their thoughts and through this awareness develop both depth and quality. I commend the remarks of the pupils in Years 4 and 11 who give their views about reflection.

Please remember to start with yourself for the more that you are calm and reflective the more the pupils will be too!

Neil Hawkes
Senior Adviser

February 27, 2014

February 26, 2014

Dalton China Innovation Forum

Elizabeth Neil, director of 'Little Dalton'  in Hongkong and Hans Wenke, senior Dalton Consultant, represented Dalton International during the conference in Beijing.
A short summary of this event will be published at the
website of Dalton International.

February 25, 2014

Website Dalton International is renewed

Let me tell you something about the targets of Dalton International.
Dalton International wants to stimulate the innovation of the Dalton education by international exchange of expertise. The international Dalton conferences give that opportunity.
But the conference is not the only platform, because training of school staffs, offering Dalton courses on international level, the publishing of articles, the exchange of teachers and students, organizing workshops and seminars are also possibilities to improve Dalton education on an international level.
After a training period Dalton International can give teachers an official Dalton certificate and we can nominate schools that have followed a Dalton training process for the predicate of “International Dalton School”.

We can make use of each other’s developments.
A modern teacher creates a learning setting in which children are challenged to take initiatives. The time of only one teaching method is far behind us.
The necessity to work on differentiation is not only connected to children who are lagging behind or leading the group.  In Dalton education differentiation also comes from the simple attitude: respect each individual child.
Modern education is more and more development-oriented education.
This approximation is just the point to give children the space to take initiatives.

Visit the website of Dalton International here

February 23, 2014

February 22, 2014

Are we all on the same line?

This is a simple, but attractive tool to gain insight in the joint vision of the Dalton principles.

For every teacher, or student, or parent Dalton education can mean something different.

When we know the differences in experience, we can focus on a redirection.

A design like this is more attractive than only a sheet of paper.

February 19, 2014

Dalton Congress in the Netherlands

This congress takes place 

on Wednesday April 9th 2014 

in Deventer.

More information:

February 11, 2014

The Dalton China Innovation Forum

We would look forward to welcoming you to Beijing and share your valuable experience with all.

Zhao Yulin
Deputy Director
of the
Research & Development Centre
Basic Education,
Peking University

                     Hans Wenke will be the representative of Dalton International.

February 2, 2014

Forum Dalton Education in Beijing

Some time ago I've got a letter from
Jin Fang Chen. She is working at the educational department of the University
in Beijing.
We met in 2006 during the International Dalton Conference in Brno-CZ.
During that conference she gave a lecture about education in China and the position of Reform Pedagogy in the educational system in China, and we had much time to communicate about the influence of Helen Parkhurst in the world.

Jin Fang invited me as president of Dalton international to participate in a Forum about Dalton Education. For personal reasons it is not possible for me to accept the invitation, but I am happy that Hans Wenke will represent Dalton International now.

In the invitation was written:

'The Dalton Education Forum' will be held in Beijing on Feb 23rd to 24th 2014 in  Zhang Gui Tang, Peking University. The forum is aimed to explore Dalton education and innovation practice in the Chinese context.  
We hope to connect China's Dalton education development and school education reform into the global picture and find out more valuable solutions from other countries. We wish to create a platform of interaction for the Dalton education practitioners in China to exchange their ideas, and to conduct further research in purpose of Dalton education contextualized for practice in China.

On the conference day, the representative of Dalton International will deliver a keynote speech about Dalton International and Dalton Education development around the globe. We also ask Ms Elizabeth Neil to present a keynote speech about her experience of Dalton education and school management in Australia and Hong Kong, etc. Also, we will invite school representatives to present their practice and experience about school reform and development in the concept of Dalton education.
We hope the participating schools like to be active in Dalton education  and start to practice Dalton education to improve school reform and development. 
Till now there are some example schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Sichuan, Shanxi, Hebei, etc. Most of the schools are complete schools including both junior and senior section".

Jin Fang Chen translated
Education on the Dalton Plan
in Chinese.
Peking University Press, 2005

February 1, 2014

First steps in reflection

A teacher from 'Public Kindergarten no 7'  in Częstochowa (Poland) 
created this visualization of reflection for the children in her school.

Barbara Buczkowska,  participated in the workshop   I gave
last November in Ostrowiec. One of the topics was evaluation and reflection.
This school is nominated to be an official Dalton Kindergarten and will be visitated by a committee of the Polish Dalton association.