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


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 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.


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?"


January 17, 2017

21st Century Skills in a nutshell

This is the well known schedule.
I use it as a framework in my PowerPoint presentation "Dalton in the 21st Century".
A new version of this PPT will be presented during the 'Dalton Congress' in Deutschlandsberg - Austria on 25 and 26 May 2017.

January 15, 2017


Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
John Dewey

January 13, 2017

January 11, 2017


The Dalton Plan at Ascham involves a combination of Lessons and Studies, where each student makes active decisions about how she works and learns. This way of learning, and the confidence and independence it gives, stays with our girls throughout their tertiary study and into their careers. It helps lift and sustain the academic progress of every one of our girls, whatever their abilities and aspirations. It is uniquely Ascham.

At the heart of Ascham’s learning and teaching excellence is our focus on the individual girl, achieved through The Dalton Plan. The Dalton Plan stimulates self-reliance, assists each girl to assume responsibility for her own learning and engages both learner and teacher in intellectual partnership.  


From the website of the school


January 10, 2017

January 6, 2017

Give a new impulse

Sometimes it is good to introduce something new to stimulate the work spirit of the children.

Give a special reward when someone deserve it after finishing the week assignment.

Here are some ideas taken from internet.

January 5, 2017

Daltonplan Pädagogik

Registration form Dalton Congress in Austria

25 and 26 May 2017

Herewith I subscribe for the International Dalton-Congress in Deutschlandsberg Austria!

Registration Form


(address, city, post code, country)

PHONE (incl. internat.code)


(name, address)



Date of arrival

Date of departure

City of arrival (Vienna or Graz)

Airport or Railway station

Please make a reservation for me in B&B JUFA                      ¨ yes          ¨ no

(Price per night incl. breakfast buffet € 50,-)

              Single room  ¨                                              Double room  ¨

The conference fee of € 55 has to be paid in advance. After your registration you will get a confirmation with the bank details.

(included are drinks, lunch on the conference-day, concert and buffet and the participation in the tour on 26. May)

Date: ____________________________                      

Signature: ___________________________________

January 4, 2017

Kindergarten nr. 18 in Szczecin is an official Dalton school now

See a short reportage of the school  (in Polish language)

Information for parents

In this Dalton Kindergarten in Ostrowiec - Poland

the parents are informed about Dalton Education by this board.

January 3, 2017

Still actual and available.


For information about the Dutch and German edition click DALTONMEDIA
For the Polish edition write an email

Shenzhen Dalton Xinhua School

The starting team of teachers of this school in November 2016.

January 2, 2017

Next International Dalton Congress

Program information
Ask for the inscription formulary by using the email adresses above or here