Educating Hearts

I am currently have a skim through a book called Educating Hearts by Hanley and Maher. An interesting Australian book looking at best practice in building a quality school environment that has a religious or values based charism at the heart of its educational philosophy.

I have now worked or had experience of a few of the schools that are mentioned in the book so can relate to the message. One of the key messages the book makes is about fundamental student wellbeing. If the students are happy at school they will flourish in many areas of school life and ultimately go out into society with an informed conscience ready to engage with their world. This sounds like a basic message that many educators would readily agree with but surprising as it sounds some schools are struggling to implement these good, common sense practices. The authors, long time practitioners in some of these quality, or great schools, have thus listed “their 7 characteristics of what makes a good school”. It is a good list.

One of the those that I have experienced that is now very common place in great schools are Student Immersions.

Teachers as Learners and Researchers

Another holiday break begins. I suddenly realise as I age I need the holiday break more from the daily grind of schoolwork and teaching. I also realise that my own learning can suffer which is part of the reason I continue to study at university. Last night just before midnight I finished my last uni assignment which certainly kept me busy over the past month. My interests are pleasantly divided between a great love of educational leadership research, teaching and learning, learning space, ICT, blended learning, learning taxonomies, to name a few. I forgot my latest which is where my school is currently pushing the envelope which is where student Wellbeing meets learning paradigms and how these interact in schools.

My first Masters let me concentrate on most of these which was great. Unfortunately my other great passion working in religious schools as I have has been religion. I have had a few attempts at study in this all important space. My first was years ago doing a dip ed in RE. I loved it. I later began a heavier Masters in Theology through BBI and Newcastle and am about to complete this so naturally enough I am now thinking about the next options which brings me back to the point of this post.

The learning. It’s all about the learning for us teachers. We need to remind ourselves that our best learning is when we engage in some study or a research project at work that stimulates and engages us. I know for me this makes me a better a teacher. Enjoy your holiday reading and keep learning new things all the time.