Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chinese music under banyan trees, here at the dude ranch above the sea (Steely Dan)

Further to my musings on the generally good behaviour at my school from a couple of posts ago – I have recently revisited an excellent little article by Jon Saphier and Mathew King called Good Seeds Grow In Strong Cultures.
They make a couple of good points.
School improvement, they say, emerges from the confluence of FOUR elements
  1. The strengthening of teachers’ skills
  2. Systematic renovation of the curriculum
  3. Improvement of the organisation
  4. Involvement of parents and citizens in responsible school-community partnerships.
Underlying all four though is school culture.

It can either energise the four or undermine them.

At Ali bin Abi Taleb School we have a team of advisors from Cognition Education (lead by me) who aim to address the first, third, and fourth ones. The Abu Dhabi Education Council is aiming to address the second one.

But without a positive school culture it’s a house of cards...built on sand...with a howling asefa rum liah (desert dust storm) blowing. You get the idea – school improvement is not going to work without it.

So, back to my little school.

Because of the strong, positive supportive culture here, (according to Saphier/King) improvements in instruction will be significant, continuous, and widespread.

In short – good seeds will grow in a strong culture.

Now that's a comforting thought!

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