Teach Like a Montessori Champion

In 1907, Maria Montessori was asked to set up a daycare centre in San Lorenzo, a district in Rome. The centre was located in a housing project in a slum area. 60 children, aged three to seven, joined the centre, while their illiterate parents were working. Montessori described her pupils: Tearful, frightened children, so shy … Continue reading Teach Like a Montessori Champion

Looking for wisdom and empathy

Political events in 2016 have been screaming at us: WAKE UP!! Britons slammed the door in the face of their EU neighbours. Americans threw a rock (in the shape of Donald Trump) to smash the windows of the political establishment. Dissatisfaction with politics as usual is evident around the world.  What to do about it? … Continue reading Looking for wisdom and empathy

Luxury or necessity? Critical thinking and problem solving should be at the core of learning for all

This article appeared in Unlocking a world of potential, a publication by British Council. Even in a world where most children are still learning basic skills, critical thinking and problem solving can and should be taught. In a low-income community in South Delhi, India, students are reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Today’s discussion … Continue reading Luxury or necessity? Critical thinking and problem solving should be at the core of learning for all

The puzzle of how teachers learn best

How do teachers learn best? What is the best way to improve professional practice so that this has a positive effect on student learning outcomes? These questions have been puzzling me for years and here is why. A newly qualified teacher was having a really tough time at school. He was teaching in a secondary … Continue reading The puzzle of how teachers learn best

Reinvent teachers’ professional development

New and more effective models of teachers’ professional learning are needed. These have to take into account the challenging reality, including long working hours, the pressure of inspections and exams. Creative Generation is an organisation trying to reinvent teachers’ continuing professional development. We hope that our efforts contribute to teachers regaining a sense of professionalism … Continue reading Reinvent teachers’ professional development

Learning to solve problems

“Robots – memorising formulas, regurgitating facts. Pretending that we understood when we didn’t have a clue. Playing by the rules of the examiner. That’s before we met Mr G, who rescued us from the education system that failed us all. He was a teacher who relished making you think, and not telling you the answer. … Continue reading Learning to solve problems

On excellent teaching and human excellence

Spending a week in Mumbai during the Synergies workshop and a day in Pune – the other city where Teach For India places its fellows – helped me clarify one of the big questions I’ve been asking myself for a long time. Four years ago we were setting up Noored Kooli, the Estonian programme within … Continue reading On excellent teaching and human excellence