Category: Agora

 

 

We need to talk about resilience. The term’s been around for a long time, well, at least for a couple of decades in education. Perhaps it has been around long enough to be taken for granted. The focus of the recent EdComm Conference was on Resilient Teaching. I asked some of the attendees how familiar they were with the term. Some said they’d been thinking about it as an individual but it was not a topic that had received much attention at their school. Others said they were having lively debates with their fellow teachers about the relevance of resilience (and wellness) and had registered for the conference to find out what Dr Donald Guthrie had to say about it. In fact, three respondents from different schools said that their principals had sponsored up to a dozen staff to attend the conference with a view to promoting informed discourse and practical action with the rest of the staff on their return.

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, was one of the earliest researchers to study the characteristics that underpin flourishing. His book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology, published in 2002, popularised his ideas about how to flourish. Before this, the focus of psychology had been to investigate disorder: why mental illness occurred and how to treat it. Because Dr Seligman believes that his research findings show that an individual can strengthen many of the aspects of behaviour and the virtues he showed to underpin resilience, he would answer YES to the question ‘do we have a choice?’

Educators are regularly reported as belonging to the one of the most stressful occupations. The effects of stress are leading to low teacher retention rates and a high prevalence of burnout. There has to be a better way! How can teachers set about reducing their feelings of burnout and improve motivation and work engagement?

It is my hope that the services and support provided by EdComm will equip teachers and schools in their mission to deliver biblically-based teaching and pastoral support for the students and families in their care.

Trust should be integral to the framing of our spiritual, professional and personal lives as many elements of trust are intertwined in the way we behave in these three aspects. At the Agora meeting in April 2017 Dr McCulla and Dr Marks spoke on recent international research...

International evidence says today’s schooling is out of step with producing students with the skills to survive and thrive in the complex and demanding 21st century. Instead of resilient life-long learners schools are producing dependent, passive high and low achievers who frequently lack resilience and real world intelligence. 

He has been described as a ‘guru’ by Professor John Hattie. No matter what you think of him, Pasi Sahlberg definitely has some helpful insights into education globally. His experience as a teacher and then system leader in Finland, alongside his international work means that people sit up and take notice when he speaks.


What is gender fluidity, and how do schools and their leaders support and care for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) in a Godly and loving way, while fulfilling legal obligations and maintaining the integrity of Anglican schools? This was the purpose behind Anglican EdComm’s Governors’ Evening held in November last year, where the leaders and governors of our Anglican schools came together to discuss issues critical to Anglican education and to collaborate in an ongoing sense.

LEAP (Leading Educators Around the Planet) is an International peer-shadowing program for Principals, Deputy-Principals, Directors and non school-based education personnel. The program involves hosting an international colleague for a two-week leadership program in July, and being hosted by that international colleague (in their location) for a reciprocal two-week program in the September school holidays.

The combination of these two words has fascinated me for some years. And after meeting Jamie Smith and reading “Desiring the Kingdom” I became hooked on what seemed an obvious proposition: that every teacher whether they recognised it or not, was contributing to the moral, spiritual, social and cultural formation of their students. Jamie’s focus on rituals and liturgy as outcomes of the process made a lot of sense.

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