May 20, 2017

April 15, 2017

Teachers from Austria visited Dutch Dalton Schools

We visited 'Daltonschool de Achtbaan' in Amersfoort and 'Daltonschool de Leeuwerik' in Leiderdorp.

 










Jürgen Peters,
President of Dalton Austria, 
was leader of this delegation.




March 26, 2017

Go Global

Today's tools make it possible to learn about other countries and people first hand. Of course, textbooks are still sufficient, yet, there is nothing like learning languages, cultures, and communication skills from actually talking to people from other parts of the world.

It's a shame that with all the tools available, we still learn about other cultures, people, and events from the media. Teaching students how to use the tools in their hands to "visit" any corner of this planet will hopefully make us more knowledgable and sympathetic.

Dalton International developed a platform for direct communication: 'Webcam classes'.

March 23, 2017

Bad leaders are looking at who is the best.

Good leaders are looking at what is the best.

Simon Sinek

March 20, 2017

New Dalton Kindergarten in Szczecin

Today a big celebration was organized by the team of the Public Kindergarten nr 18 in Szczecin.
This school got the official certificate "Dalton Kindergarten" from the President of the Polish Dalton Association Katarzyna Dryjas.
Director of the school, Agnieszka Czeglik got another certificate from Anna Wróbel, representative of Dalton International.
This Kindergarten is now "Member of Dalton International".


March 18, 2017

New Member of Dalton International

Today Kasia Dryjas,  President of the Polish Dalton Association handed out the certificate 'Member of Dalton International' to the team of the public Kindergarten nr 34 in Koszalin.




March 8, 2017

100.000 Dalton students in the Netherlands

Today The Dutch Dalton Association celebratet the fact that 100.000 students are following Dalton Education in our country.
The new Nominated Dalton School "de Magneet" in Amersfoort is the reason that we crossed this unique border.
Of course there was a certificate in which this historical fact was written down, but all the children and the staff could enjoy  a very special cake.
Director of the school, Paul Bruijn, performed the symbolic act.


March 5, 2017

Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Yet Exist


Many people are scared of the future. With every science fiction movie that portrays technology as evil, and let’s be honest, that’s the theme of almost every science fiction movie that’s ever existed, it’s easy to develop some paranoia about the dangers ahead.

However, much of today’s technology is giving us super-human attributes. The same technology that gets blamed for eliminating our jobs, is also giving us capabilities beyond our wildest dreams. We have instant access to friends and family, instant access to answers for almost any question we ask, and instant entertainment if ever we get bored.

We can now think-faster, know-faster, and do-faster than ever before. We no longer end up being the “last to know.”

At the same time, every new technology also requires new skill sets for those working in those environments. Here are just a few of the skills that will be highly prized in the future.

14 Hot New Skills


1. Transitionists – Those who can help make a transition.

2. Expansionists – A talent for adapting along with a growing environment.

3. Maximizers – An ability to maximize processes, situations, and opportunities.

4. Optimizers – The skill and persistence to tweak variables until it produces better results.

5. Inflectionists – Finding critical inflection points in a system will become a much-prized skill.

6. Dismantlers – Every industry will eventually end, and this requires talented people who know how to scale things back in an orderly fashion.

7. Feedback Loopers – Those who can devise the best possible feedback loops.

8. Backlashers – Ever- new technology will have its detractors, and each backlash will require a response.

9. Last Milers – Technologies commonly reach a point of diminishing returns as they attempt to extend their full capacity to the end user. People with the ability to mastermind these solutions will be in hot demand.

10. Contexualists – In between the application and the big picture lays the operational context for every new technology.

11. Ethicists – There will be an ever-growing demand for people who can ask the tough question and standards to apply moral decency to some increasingly complex situations.

12. Philosophers – With companies in a constant battle over “my-brain-is-bigger-than-your-brain,” it becomes the overarching philosophy that wins the day.

13. Theorists – Every new product, service, and industry begins with a theory.

14. Legacists – Those who are passionate and skilled with leaving a legacy.

see more at this site

March 4, 2017

Finland again

The Finish National Board of Education produced a very interesting brochure.

Find this brochure here


March 1, 2017


Source : 'Clever Classroom'

February 27, 2017

How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning?


The term "21st-century skills" is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today's world. In a broader sense, however, the idea of what learning in the 21st century should look like is open to interpretation—and controversy.

Twenty-first-century learning embodies an approach to teaching that marries content to skill. Without skills, students are left to memorize facts, recall details for worksheets, and relegate their educational experience to passivity. Without content, students may engage in problem-solving or team-working experiences that fall into triviality, into relevance without rigor. Instead, the 21st-century learning paradigm offers an opportunity to synergize the margins of the content vs. skills debate and bring it into a framework that dispels these dichotomies. Twenty-first-century learning means hearkening to cornerstones of the past to help us navigate our future. Embracing a 21st-century learning model requires consideration of those elements that could comprise such a shift: creating learners who take intellectual risks, fostering learning dispositions, and nurturing school communities where everyone is a learner.

From: Education Week

February 26, 2017

A story


There was a nice young teacher in a new certificated Dalton Kindergarten somewhere in Europe.

It was almost Easter and of course she wanted to bring her classroom in the right atmosphere.

She found a nice and simple design of Easter-chicks, made one example herself and prepared all the material the children needed in the right sizes.

She presented her own example and integrated it in a nice story. In such a way, only Kindergarten teachers can tell it.

After the introduction, immediately time to work.

All the children at that same moment.

The teacher was running around, helping here, giving advice there . . .

And see the result.

The teacher was very happy with all the individual differences.

“They did it all by themselves”.



But there was one boy in the classroom who didn’t like the task.

So stupid these chicks.

An Easter bunny is much nicer.

Without asking the teacher he went to the drawer with the colored paper, and took what he needed.

With his tongue out of his mouth he started to work.

When finished, he proudly presented his bunny to the teacher.
It’s time, dear readers, to finish this story yourself.
Which feed-back would you give to the teacher?

February 25, 2017

To think about


As students have access to any information possible, there certainly is no need to "spoon-feed" the knowledge or teach "one-size fits all" content. As students have different personalities, goals, and needs, offering personalized instructions is not just possible but also desirable. When students can make their own choices, they own their learning, increase intrinsic motivation, and put in more effort -- an ideal recipe for better learning outcomes!

February 22, 2017


Let them experiment to get a smiling face.


February 20, 2017

15 March 2017 'Dalton Day'



In the Netherlands has grown a good tradition.
Every year, on the third Fiday in March, all Dalton schools open their doors for everyone who like to observe the Dalton Education.
It would be great if all Dalton schools in Europe follow this tradition.

In Dutch Dalton schools will be 100.000 students in short time. This will be celebrated in a new Dalton school very soon.

February 18, 2017

Happy Birthday




Jürgen Peters, President of Dalton Austria is celebrating his birthday.

February 17, 2017


Dalton in the 21st Century

Four slides from my PPT presentation about 21st Century Skills

Of course the most interesting point is to find the realtion with our Dalton pillars.


February 16, 2017

Dalton study by Piet van der Ploeg


Apart from John Dewey, no American educational reformer has been as internationally successful and influential as Helen Parkhurst, the founder of Dalton education. In the 1920s and 1930s, Dalton education was spread throughout the world. Now, the Netherlands is the country with the highest density of Dalton schools. Almost four hundred elementary schools (five percent of all) are Dalton schools. This historical and theoretical study gives an account of the practice and the theory of the Dalton Plan. Next it discusses the background and context of the Dalton Plan. It also compares the Dalton Plan to other critical and innovative approaches to education. Helen Parkhurst was herself not keen on historical and theoretical exercises. This study shows that historical and theoretical research is interesting nonetheless. It demonstrates the distinctiveness of Dalton education, for instance:
*that learning by experience is not the same as learning by doing and that experience doesn’t have the same role for Parkhurst as it does for other reformers;
*that there are important differences between working with assignments in the Dalton Plan and working with materials in the Montessori Method;
*that the Dalton Plan holds efficiency as its main objective, whilst at the same time opposing the efficiency-hype seen at the beginning of the twentieth century;
*that the meaning of cooperation in the Dalton Plan is not the same as what we usually mean by this;
*that Parkhurst's school as a community distinguishes itself from Dewey's school as a community; and
*that freedom in the Dalton Plan is something else  than freedom of choice

Text by author


February 14, 2017

Valentine


Cooperative learning is more than working together


Students who engage in cooperative learning learn significantly more, remember it longer, and develop better critical-thinking skills than their counterparts in traditional lecture classes.
Students enjoy cooperative learning more than traditional lecture classes, so they are more likely to attend classes and finish the course.
Students are going to go on to jobs that require teamwork. Cooperative learning helps students develop the skills necessary to work on projects too difficult and complex for any one person to do in a reasonable amount of time.
In small groups, students can share strengths and develop their weaker skills. They develop their interpersonal skills. They learn to deal with conflict. When cooperative groups are guided by clear objectives, students engage in numerous activities that improve their understanding of subjects explored.

To create an environment in which cooperative learning can take place, three things are necessary.
First, students need to feel safe, but also challenged.
Second, groups need to be small enough that everyone can contribute.
Third, the task students work together on must be clearly defined. The cooperative and collaborative learning techniques presented here should help make this possible for teachers.

Also, in cooperative learning small groups provide a place where:
  • learners actively participate;
  • teachers become learners at times, and learners sometimes teach;
  • respect is given to every member;
  • projects and questions interest and challenge students;
  • diversity is celebrated, and all contributions are valued;
  • students learn skills for resolving conflicts when they arise;
  • members draw upon their experience and knowledge;
  • goals are clearly identified and used as a guide;
  • research tools such as Internet access are made available;
· 

February 12, 2017

February 11, 2017

February 10, 2017

The classroom of the future


The Physical Space
The days of classrooms where a teacher desk sits at the front of the classroom and students’ desks are neatly aligned in rows are over. Learning technologies, and changing pedagogical methods, are not only changing the way we teach but also the physical environments we teach in. The role physical environments play in our learning is just beginning to be studied and understood. Akinsanmi (2011) asserts that “there is little research on the role the physical environment plays in the learning process” but more and more educations theorist and psychologists are beginning to offer perspectives “from which designers can conceptualize the creation of an optimal learning environment” (The Optimal Learning). One thing that is clear from the research of the physical spaces which make up learning environments is that current classrooms seldom facilitate 21st century learning.
A study done by the Herman Miller Company (2011) on adaptable spaces and their impact on learning identified four key constructs that affect student learning; Basic Human Need, Teaching, Learning, and Engagement. Herman Miller assert that there is a “pedagogical value of a comfortable chair” and that by “recognizing the impact that physical comfort has is support of pedagogy, and designing flexible, comfortable learning spaces enhances the experience of both faculty and students.” When classroom furniture is easily moved to allow for comfort and practicality students’ learning experience was heightened with increased seating comfort (32%), being able to clearly understand the professor (14%), and view materials (17%). Besides students being better serviced by redesigned and malleable classrooms educators also reported the benefits of increased lighting, better access to internet connections, improved ability to hear students and having more whiteboard space (p. 3,5).

The research summary also highlighted the fact that with regard to teaching “emerging discoveries about how people learn, rapid advancements in technology, and heightened awareness of student expectations” were what caused the most pedagogical changes and in order for teachers to take advantage of these changes teaching spaces must be able to utilize new technologies and have classroom “flexible enough to accommodate different teaching styles”. Adaptable learning spaces also better facilitate learning especially since the “meaning of knowing has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find it use it and contextualize it.” Marc Prensky describes how students no longer prefer large lecture halls and instead desire learning spaces that “allow them to get to know one another, engage in dialogue, work independently or in groups on projects…get or provide private feedback [and] seek a collaborative environment that fosters understanding and learning” (Herman Miller Company, 2011, p. 5-6). Prensky’s quote perfectly illustrates why classroom spaces should no longer be static but should be easily adaptable to fit whatever activity or pedagogical method the teacher chooses to deliver that day’s lesson in.

Source: Classroom of the future

February 9, 2017

February 8, 2017

Finland again


Finland’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. In international ratings, it’s always in the top ten. However, the authorities there aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, and they’ve decided to carry through a real revolution in their school system.
Finnish officials want to remove school subjects from the curriculum. There will no longer be any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography.
The head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, Marjo Kyllonen, explained the changes:
“There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century. “
Instead of individual subjects, students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, the Second World War will be examined from the perspective of history, geography, and math. And by taking the course” Working in a Cafe," students will absorb a whole body of knowledge about the English language, economics, and communication skills.
This system will be introduced for senior students, beginning at the age of 16.
The general idea is that the students ought to choose for themselves which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions for the future and their capabilities. In this way, no student must pass through an entire course on physics or chemistry while all the time thinking to themselves “What do I need to know this for?”
The traditional format of teacher-pupil communication is also going to change. Students will no longer sit behind school desks and wait anxiously to be called upon to answer a question. Instead, they will work together in small groups to discuss problems.
The Finnish education system encourages collective work, which is why the changes will also affect teachers. The school reform will require a great deal of cooperation between teachers of different subjects. Around 70% of teachers in Helsinki have already undertaken preparatory work in line with the new system for presenting information, and, as a result, they’ll get a pay increase.
The changes are expected to be complete by 2020.

February 7, 2017

Training for jobs that don’t yet exist


The world’s education systems are failing our children by not preparing them for the workplace of the future. This is the key finding of a new report by the World Economic Forum, which puts forward a series of practical measures for aligning education and training with future job requirements.

Technology and globalization continue to reshape business models across all sectors and geographies, creating new types of jobs and disposing of old ones at great pace. However, monolithic, underfunded education and training systems around the world have fallen short of responding to this trend. This means that by the time they leave education, as many as two-thirds of children entering primary school today will not have the skills required to get a job. The impact will be worse for women who already have less than two-thirds of the economic opportunity that men have.

The report was put together by a panel of business leaders, policy-makers, unions, educational institutions and academics. It recommends that governments and the private sector work together in eight core areas to ensure the world’s children are equipped for the future.

1. Focus on the early years: Reinventing education starts in early childhood, where the focus should be on literacy and reading. Adequate childcare provision for working parents will be critical in both developed and developing economies.

2. Keeping it dynamic: Training curricula must be aligned with market demand for skills – both job-specific and generic, such as problem-solving and project management. The challenge will be to keep these curricula dynamic and responsive to evolving business needs. In Finland, one of the world’s top-performing nations in education, the curriculum is updated regularly to provide an overall framework, with room for local adaptation by the schools themselves.

3. Open-sourcing education: The report advocates adopting training innovations more quickly, opening up to alternative learning routes (such as Hackathons) and allowing for experimentation with new techniques. For example, the New York City Department of Education has created "Lab" schools and tasked them with reinventing teaching and learning. In Ghana, the US and France, schools are pioneering short courses in coding based on peer-to-peer teaching, project-based learning and gamification.

4. Taking teachers out of the ivory tower: To bring education and business closer together, the report recommends initiatives such as teacher "externships" in businesses, workplace mentoring and involving the private sector in teacher training.

5. Giving students a sense of the real world of work: Similarly, students should experience the world of work from early on – for example through internships and ongoing career coaching – to help them see a variety of career options and the skills required.

6. Addressing the vocational stigma: Vocational and technical education is critical to the world economy but has been neglected and often looked down on as second best. The World Economic Forum advocates promoting vocational and technical career paths more proactively and raising the quality of vocational training on offer. For example, Germany’s vocational training system sees apprentices divide their days between classroom instruction and on-the-job training at a company. Apprentices are paid and their training typically extends to between two and three years. Not only does this approach create an excellent talent pool, it also smooths the – often difficult – transition from education to the world of work.

7. Digital fluency: Digital skills will be fundamental to a wide range of careers, but "digital fluency" is not a given. The report highlights the need for a greater focus on ICT in teacher training and students’ work placements to address the growing digital skills crisis. One successful example comes from India, where the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has partnered with NGOs and the Government of India to build National Digital Literacy Centers across the country to enable digital literacy.

8. Education, education, education: Given the rapid evolution of the job market, workers can no longer rely on just one skillset or narrow expertise to sustain long-term careers. The report advocates incentivizing employees to commit to lifelong learning so they continue to develop their skills or even retrain for new roles. For example, in Singapore, individuals receive an annual training allowance they can spend on a range of training courses all geared towards developing future-oriented skills. The fourth industrial revolution will turn the world of work as we know it on its head as it continues to unfold. The report suggests that, unless the world’s monolithic education systems can be reformed and rendered nimbler, their failings will come back to haunt future generations’ ability to prosper.

Source: World Economic Forum - February 2017

February 6, 2017

Use their competences


Nowadays all teachers realize that their students belong to the E- generation, and that they consume information on their own way.
These students are used to calculators, television, Play Station, computers, laptops, I-pads.

They sit in front of the computer and they consume their favorite products very quickly; if it's  not interesting enough they simply switch to another programme.

Computers are their sixth organ.
Students are like to be active themselves. They have the drive to explore.

Listening to long instruction is for them like reading the instruction guide of a new PlayStation programme.

And no-one will do it, they all start to explore immediately.

The first child that wants to read the instruction manual before he/she starts to work with that programme, has still to be born.

Students want to discover and do it themselves. That’s not a negative attitude, it is real motivation.

And we teachers must accept the changes in the consumption pattern of the audience in our classrooms.  

We are the professionals and that’s why we don’t want to serve them every day the same fast-food. Let’s be creative and keep them hungry.

Students want to be challenged to demonstrate their competences. They are not interested in the long demonstrations of the competences of the teacher. The only effect is that it will reduce their own competences.

Let’s focus on the 21st Century Skills to bring our program in harmony with their competences.

I am glad to work out this topic during the International Dalton Congress is Austria.


February 5, 2017

New Dalton school in Poland

I've got this beautiful invitation from the Public School nr. 18 in Szczecin.
The team of this school followed the training process organized by the Polish Dalton Association.
The official certificate will be celebrated on March 20. 2017.



February 3, 2017



The elements described in this section as “21st century student outcomes” (represented by the rainbow) are the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st Century. 
Core Subjects
21st Century Themes Mastery of core subjects and 21st century themes are essential for students in the 21st century. Core subjects include English, reading or language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, government and civics. We believe schools must move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to promoting understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects:
• Global Awareness
• Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy
• Civic Literacy
• Health Literacy
Learning and Innovation Skills
Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century and those who are not.
They include:
• Creativity and Innovation
• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
• Communication and Collaboration

Information, Media and Technology Skills
People in the 21st century live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills, such as:
• Information Literacy
• Media Literacy
• ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) Literacy
Life and Career Skills
Today’s life and work environments require far more than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills, such as:
• Flexibility and Adaptability
• Initiative and Self-Direction
• Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
• Productivity and Accountability
• Leadership and Responsibility
BY: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

February 2, 2017

Long live the teacher


In one of his books Woody Allen writes: “My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers”.

But nevertheless he survived his education and at least it brought him to a unique sense of humour.

If teachers can weave humour through the daily programme, they can really touch the future with their students. Long live the teacher should be the reaction of the students.



January 30, 2017

January 28, 2017

Yesterday I've got this beautiful book from a dear friend.
An absolute must for all teams of teachers



'HOUSE' , one of the three starting points in The Dalton School - New York


An important pillar of the Dalton Plan for building community and attending to the needs of every child, House is the home base in school for each Dalton student, and the House advisor (classroom or homeroom teacher) is the parent's key contact with the school. In the First Program and Middle School, House is comprised of students of the same age. In the High School, each House includes students from every grade level, a microcosm of the larger school community. In all divisions, the House Advisor guides and assists each student in the learning process

FIRST PROGRAM

The First Program views House, the first component of the Dalton Plan, as the basic organizational unit for all students, a gathering place that serves as each student’s home base. Following the guidelines established by Helen Parkhurst, the school’s founder, and articulated in Dalton's K-3 Curriculum Guide, the House Advisor and Associate Teacher in each House create a stimulating, academically rigorous curriculum in the language arts, mathematics, and social studies disciplines, in conjunction with specialists in music, art, science, library, and physical education. In addition, reading and math specialists work with students individually or in small groups to provide support and enrichment. While the academic work is paramount, the purpose of House is to provide a safe, secure, learning environment that encourages risk taking and promotes community building. House at the First Program is comprised of students in the same grade. The House Advisor and Associate Teacher in each First Program classroom maintain close, ongoing contact with parents, informing them as to the social, emotional, and academic growth of the students throughout the year. They also meet formally with parents on designated Report Days in the fall and spring semesters.
The House is central to the Middle School program. House Advisors guide students through the school year by carefully following progress in all disciplines, by mentoring young students, and by functioning as the primary liaison with parents.


MIDDLE SCHOOL

Middle School teachers serve as House Advisors. This special role as an advocate and mentor assists teachers in building special partnerships with students. The greatest benefit of the House system in the Middle School is that it provides adequate time and space as well as a forum for students to learn life skills and to engage in cooperative discussion. House is a time for dialogue, learning, reflection, and problem-solving. It is an important time of the day when students learn about community and a place where they can share their perspectives on important issues. This learning and sharing is guided by the House Advisors in a warm and supportive environment where students can take risks, share their ideas, discuss, mediate and resolve issues, and learn and model civic responsibility.

In the fourth and fifth grades, students work and learn in largely self-contained classrooms where much of their instruction takes place. They come to think of themselves as members of a classroom community working to build relationships within the grade. Guided by House Advisors who provide support and caring, students become confident learners, expand their knowledge, and refine their social skills.

 In the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, when the academic program is fully departmentalized, the House Advisor's role as advocate and mentor is crucial. Each House meets at the beginning and end of every day, as well as for two additional periods, each week. House Advisors help students develop the necessary social and organizational skills to become successful, independent learners.

HIGH SCHOOL

The House is a key component in the High School. Houses are heterogeneously grouped with students from grades nine through twelve. As the basic social unit in the school, the House becomes a critical part of a student's time spent at Dalton. Thus, the House Advisor is the primary communication link between the school and the home, and between the student and the school. As the student's advocate and confidant, the Advisor must play a vital role in monitoring the advisee's academic, social, and emotional well-being. It is to the Advisor that students and parents will first come when they have a problem.

In short House meetings, attendance is taken, announcements are read, and messages passed on. Now, either the student advisee or the House Advisor can arrange for individual appointments to pursue any special interests or needs the student may have. Longer meetings are devoted to discussions and activities designed to bring the House closer together as a group and to address issues which directly concern the advisees' growth and development as thoughtful, aware, and caring members of the community.
Houses are also sometimes involved in community service projects.
From the website of the school

January 27, 2017

Why some teams pull together and others don't.

"The responsibility of leaders is to teach their people the rules, train them to gain competency and build their confidence. At that point, leadership must step back and trust that their people know what they are doing and will do what needs to be done. In weak organizations (read schools, R.R.),  without oversight, too many people will break te rules for personal gain. That's what makes the organizations weak. In strong organizations, people will break the rules because it is the right thing to do for others".

Simon Sinek, 'Leaders eat last' 
Pinguin Group - USA 2014


January 26, 2017

New book about Dalton education came out in Poland.




The autors, Anna Sowinska and Robert Sowinski, asked me to write an introduction for this book :
The popularity of Dalton education in Poland is growing.
As one of the authors of the book “Pedagogika planu daltońskiego” it is satisfying to discover that we contributed to the implementation of the Dalton plan in many Kindergartens and that we gave the impulse for a wider development.

Many Polish teachers visited Dalton schools Holland and participated in Dalton conferences organized by the Polish Dalton Association. Teams of teachers all over your country like to know how to organize Dalton in the classroom. More Dalton consultants had to be trained and It was an honor for me to be invited to give such a training to a group of new consultants.

Different initiatives give constantly new impulses for a higher level of the Dalton development. This is one of the reasons that Poland can be seen as ‘the raising star’ in the European Dalton development.

I hope this new publication will find the way to many teachers and will inspire them during their daily work in the classroom.

January 25, 2017

Build a 21st century classroom


Today's elementary students have spent their entire lives surrounded by information in a variety of mediums. Studies have shown a positive impact on learning when students are required to engage in inquiry, analyze content, construct knowledge, and effectively communicate their learning.
To build your 21st century classroom: take a multimedia approach to learning core content, promote essential learning and innovation skills, build information, media, and technology skills in context and, advance life and career skills.
A 21st century classroom has a strong foundation in the core subjects. Exploring curriculum topics while authoring media-rich projects helps students develop knowledge that is rich, better connected, and more applicable to subsequent learning and events.
Using software tools that combine art tools, with text editing, clip art, and voice recording provides students with tools to communicate ideas and demonstrate understanding.

See the complete article

January 24, 2017

Dalton school 'De Globetrotter' qualified as Excellent


















Dalton school ‘De Globetrotter’ in Rotterdam, the Netherlands has every reason to celebrate. The school received from the Dutch Inspectorate of Education the predicate Excellent School. The Dutch Inspectorate of Education is responsible for the inspection and review of schools and educational institutions.
Example for other schools
"An excellent school is a good school that distinguishes itself from other good schools by excelling in a certain area that affects the whole school. With the predicate Excellent School, these outstanding schools receives the social visibility and appreciation they deserve. Excellent schools are a model for other schools. They challenge other schools to raise the bar high too and win this title."
Thus the inspectorate.

January 23, 2017

Short reportage in Polish Kindergarten

















Klick on:  In a Polish Kindergarten



Przedszkole Publiczne nr 18,  Szczecin, Poland


January 22, 2017

From: 'The Dalton School'

"The Dalton School, in its early years, perduredbecause of Helen Parkhurst. Her vision and force of personality engendered great loyalty from het faculty, school parenst, board of trustees and students. Her particular form of progressive Education, which came to be known as The Dalton Plan, was adopted in places as distant as Japan. But Helen Parkhurst, the woman, was an anomaly. Her competence as an educator was unquestionable, but on the personal level she exhibited a single-minded persuasiveness, a driving ambition, and an unparalleled ability to use people to achieve her own ends. I believe that het entrepreneurial approach to Education, acceptable in the 1920s, her forceful personality, and her single-minded determination were responsible for The Dalton Plan taking root in the Children's University School, renamed The Dalton School in 1920".

Susan F.Semel,  'The Dalton School,  American University Studies,          Peter Lang Publishing Inc. New York 1992

January 21, 2017

Book about the history of 'The Dalton School' New York

The Dalton School, an independent, progressive school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, was founded in 1919 by Helen Parkhurst. Influenced by educational leaders such as Maria Montessori, Frederic Burk, Carlton Washburne, and John Dewey, Helen Parkhurst established a child-centered, progressive school which attempted to incorporate the notion of a democratic community within the boundaries of an educational program. This innovative program became known as The Dalton Plan.
In this book, Susan F. Semel tells the story of The Dalton School from its earliest beginnings through the present day. Her story traces the history of progressive education within the walls of The Dalton School, focusing on the school's heads, including Charlotte Durham, Donald Barr and Gardner Dunnan. During certain periods of the school's history, as progressive education waxed and waned in the educational community at large and as educators responded to demands for more content-based curriculum, The Dalton Plan was modified. At other times, the school was impervious to the infusion of current educational thought. Consequently, during some periods of its history, The Dalton School was on the cutting edge of educational reform while, during others, the school swam against the tide of «alternative education» or neo-progressivism to favor a traditional back-to-basics approach. Ultimately, Semel uses the original Dalton Plan as a yardstick by which to measure what has happened to progressive education in the larger world.
While Susan Semel concludes that The Dalton School, in its present state, is not the same school that Helen Parkhurst founded, it still employs an educational program that pays attention to the needs of a multicultural society and reconfirms the spirit of child-centered pedagogy as an important concern of the Dalton community.


Susan F. Semel is an assistant professor of Education at Adelphi University. She received her A.B. in European history from Wheaton College, in Norton, M.A., and her M.A.T., Ed.M. and Ed.D. in the history and philosophy of education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Semel taught history at the Dalton School from 1965-1988.
Her current research interests include the history of progressive education, international educational reform, and the history of women and education. She is the co-editor of the International Handbook of Educational Reform, and the co-author of the forthcoming Exploring Education.


January 20, 2017

January 19, 2017

Suggestion from Finland


Finland may be less ostentatiously hipster than its Scandinavian neighbors but it is filled with forward-thinking and super-smart people. To mark 100 years of independence (from Russia), Finland is embarking on a wave of celebrations in 2017, one of which is HundrED, a bold project that aims to advance and scale innovation in education, initially in Finland but with global ambitions.
The initiative began in late 2015 when Finnish schools and educators were invited to submit their ideas for experiments to be trialed over the course of one school year. More than 700 hundred schools and organizations applied and in April last year, the successful applicants were announced and trials have been ongoing across the 2016/17 academic year.

These trials are being rigorously documented, measured and assessed with the overall aim of them being beautifully packaged on the HundrED platform, so that educators anywhere can access them.

The man behind HundrED, Saku Tuominen, who refers to himself as a "recovering TV producer", has, for the last three years, been directing his 25-year experience in creativity and innovation at the education sector. HundrED is the expression of his background in a new arena. He explains the overall vision, "Our goal is to be the deep experts in the world, who know what’s out there [in education innovation], what’s working and which ideas could be scaled."

Tuominen says there is no shortage of innovation in the sector but what is lacking is a way for those ideas and initiatives to be packaged so that they are accessible, easy to follow and furthermore, have a fair chance of spreading.

This platform approach, which effectively amounts to branding, is key to HundrED. Tuominen says, "We aim to make everything beautiful, everything understandable, so that any teacher, in Manchester, in Bangladesh, in Singapore, in San Francisco, can have access to the best education innovations globally. So that they can clearly see what the idea is, what resources are needed, and the dos and don’ts. For us, one key area is recognizing the innovations but just as important is the packaging part."
Finland has long been recognized as having one of the world’s finest education systems, it topped the OECD’s international results table in 2000, 2003 and 2006. The country’s centenary provided the perfect opportunity for an education themed initiative on this scale. Tuominen wanted to create something bold and impactful so pitched his vision to the government and the organization responsible for centenary celebrations, framing HundrED as a way to think about and prepare for the next 100 years of education, creating something better based on the excellence the country already has.

Tuominen says, "The world is changing extremely fast and schools need to change as well, but it’s not an easy task because, all over the world, education is happening in silos. Every country is a silo, every state is a silo, every city is a silo and every school is a silo. There are gatekeepers everywhere, so it is complicated to make change happen.

"Our idea is that there are a huge number of creative things that happen in classrooms all over the world but the problem is that practically no one knows about them, so, what if our mission is to recognize them, document them, evaluate them and package them in a beautiful, simple way and then help to make them spread?"

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