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Well-being and learning: what legal educators and regulators can learn from progressive primary education

Slides for the Wellness Forum, ANU College of Law, 5 Feb 2015.

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Well-being and learning: what legal educators and regulators can learn from progressive primary education

  1. 1. Well-being and learning: what legal educators and regulators can learn from progressive primary education Professor Paul Maharg
  2. 2. preview 1. Radical school education: a potted history 2. English primary school education post-WWII 3. A case study: Eynsham County Primary School, Oxfordshire, 1965-1979 4. Regulatory relationships in primary education 5. Comparison with Australian & UK HE legal education and wellness research
  3. 3. John Dewey (1859-1952) ‘A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated activity.’ Democracy and Education (1916)
  4. 4. Standard classroom c.1908. Would you like to learn about measurement and volume this way? Thanks to Mike Sharples,
  5. 5. …or this way? (Dewey’s Laboratory School, U. of Chicago, 1901)
  6. 6. Would you like to learn about history and town planning this way?
  7. 7. … or by building a table-top town for a social life history project? (Dewey’s Lab School)
  8. 8. two origins of contemporary learning theory ‘One cannot understand the history of education in the United States in the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.’ Lageman, E.C. (1989) The plural worlds of educational research, History of Education Quarterly, 29(2) E.L. Thorndike John Dewey
  9. 9. E.L. Thorndike John Dewey 1. Educational psychologist Philosopher & educationalist 2. Theoretician & experimentalist Theoretician and practical implementer 3. Explored the dyadic relationship between mind & the world Interested in the arc between experience & the world 4. Adopted as precursor of a behaviourist approach to learning: assessment-led; laws of effect, recency, repetition Pragmatist approach to learning: prior experience, ways of contextual knowing; democracy & education 5. Emphasised teaching strategies Emphasised learning ecologies 6. Followed by: Watson, Skinner, Gagné; outcomes, competence & instructional design (ID) movements. Followed by: Bruner, Kilpatrick, standards movement, Constructivist tradition.
  10. 10. • First kindergarten – opened 1837, Friedrich Fröbel • Children played freely with blocks, bricks, tiles, shapes: his school was designed for designers • Developed the idea of freiarbeit and the educational value of games. Other approaches • Montessori method • Waldorf education • Sudbury school • High/Scope method further back… kindergarten approaches
  11. 11. • Open-plan education where spaces supported activity & thinking • School as teacher • Vertical groupings, 5-11, instead of classes • Articulated a pedagogy of six selves & three I’s… ‘I am sure that teaching is an art and that teachers are artists. The teacher teaches what he is, more than what he knows, and as an artist, involved and giving of himself with love.’ George Baines distributed learning: the case study of Eynsham
  12. 12. 1. Open-plan building (the ‘articulate school’) 2. Integrated day 3. Family groupings of 40 children, aged 5-9 4. Team/co-operative teaching Characteristics of the Eynsham school
  13. 13. All learning areas divided into bays: Library Office Laboratory Studio Kitchen House Needleroom Music room Workshop Theatre Withdrawing room open-plan building
  14. 14. • No national curriculum, no LEA curriculum, no school curriculum • Periods are blocks of time that are flexible if required. Breaks are flexible: play and work are intertwined. • Setting out and clearing up were part of the day’s activities for both children & staff. ‘There is every effort made for the school to be a real community group and to develop skills and abilities of individuals and help them develop attitudes to enable them to be individuals yet concerned with the other individuals in their community.’ Eynsham teacher integrated day
  15. 15. • Family groupings of 40 children, aged 5-9. • Vertically organised (so that children could take mentoring roles) + parental conferencing & teacher observation. Children from same families included in the group (unless requested out) and the group became a family that moved through time. • Teachers facilitated, helped organise future work, gave feedback to individuals & small groups, reviewed progress with children. family groupings
  16. 16. • Teachers formed a co-operative: – helping each other teach – meeting regularly to plan & discuss activities and resources • All teachers recorded their practice in daily diaries, which for some became a record that fed into writing about school activities. • Teacher practice exemplified Dewey’s democratic practices: ‘associated living’ & ‘associated thinking’ team teaching
  17. 17. curriculum objectives
  18. 18. Curriculum methods & techniques
  19. 19. Six selves Three I’s six selves, three i’s
  20. 20. ‘Curriculum is everything that happens to a child’
  21. 21. • HMI’s were central • Power and authority was distributed between players • Teachers were listened to. • Politicians fairly distant: ‘First and most obviously the teachers gain from having their work seen by, and bing able to discuss it with, someone who is a teacher himself, who has seen the work of many other teachers and schools and who is not an employee of the LEA. […] [The Inspectorate] is very proud of its traditions of independent professional judgement and of its high standards. […] [The HMI] does not go round preaching a doctrine […] He works by influence not by authority.’ Blackie, J (1967). Inside the Primary School. regulatory relationships?
  22. 22. ‘In all this activity [in the US], the dominant figures appear to be the politicians, the professors, the research and curriculum specialists, the engineers, and the publishers, rather than the teachers. The forces working towards change come from the most part from outside schools.’ Bassett, G.W. (1970). Innovation in Primary Education. London, Wiley Interscience, 3.
  23. 23. 5.94 While almost all the classes undertook some practical work in art and some crafts, there is a need for children to be taught to observe more carefully and to record faithfully what they see and know. The emphasis which has been placed on children using a wide variety of materials has in some cases resulted in children working in a superficial way. Children need time to familiarise themselves with the characteristics of particular materials and to acquire some degree of mastery over essential skills and techniques. A more carefully selected range of art and craft activities, worked at more thoroughly, would enable children to reach higher standards in the execution of their word and obtain more satisfaction from it. [Sentence in italics is underlined; the whole passage has vertical marginal line and crosses.] (Primary Education in England. A Survey by HM Inspectors of Schools (HMSO, Dept of Education & Science, 1978 , 65); copy in George & Judith Baines archive, IoE, UL.
  24. 24. ‘Vertical grouping offers many advantages to staff members. The infant- school teacher does not face the terrible strain of coping with thirty-six or even forty children who have never been to school before and who arrive, frightened and uneasy, on the same day in September. More important, vertical grouping establishes continuity in learning. The teacher who can follow each child through two or more years of school is able to watch his progress. She knows his interests, his likes and dislikes. In addition, she knows the stages of development he has achieved and is sure of the next steps he should take. […] She can establish deep and understanding friendships with the children and maintain them over a period of time’. Murrow, C., Murrow, L. (1971). Children Come First. The Inspired Work of English Primary Schools. American Heritage Press, New York
  25. 25. Robin Tanner’s work
  26. 26. • Contrast: • Class & curriculum methods, then and now? • The concern for wellness and wholeness then in Eynsham, and current legal education in all common law jurisdictions? • Regulatory structures, duties and relationships, then and now?
  27. 27. Web: Slides: