Excuse the Ominous Silence

So it has been a while since my last post. A couple of reasons for this. Firstly, two of my subjects this session has resulted in me spending my Fridays variously hula hooping, learning a Hair routine, teaching people hockey, choreographing a piece of interpretive dance, grazing my knee playing Stuck in the Mud, and other distractions. While Dance and PE are vital parts of the curriculum I will readily admit that they haven't given me too much to discurse pretentiously on.

The second reason is that between uni, work and trying to organise TEDxYouth@Sydney, I haven't had much time – oddly enough! TEDxYouth is an amazing learning experience, a great introduction to getting my hands dirty in the education sector, as well as a crash course in not-for-profit event wrangling. But hopefully more on that later.

For the next few weeks I do have a little more time, as my full-time colleagues are on 'professional experience' at various schools (which I won't get to do until next year). In lieu of this I have to explore a little project of my own – and mine is about independent 'alternative/progressive' schools.

On the one hand I often wonder why there is not a wider spread of alternative schooling offers available. On the other hand, my very limited contact with independent schools seems to suggest that they are often created in ways that don't lend themself to rapid spreading. Schools seem to be the creation of small groups of parents and/or teachers, aiming to service specific communities.

To test this thought, and to give myself some more exposure to independent schools, I will be visiting a handful and speaking to people there about their 'origin narrative'. How did the school come about? Who was instrumental in creating it? What was their vision? What will happen if that goal is one day achieved?

I will be interested to see how much commonality and variance there is in the few schools I have the time to see. Currently I am definitely planning to speak to people at Reddam House, MLC Burwood, and Kinma. I am also considering getting in touch with a few others, time permitting.

2 thoughts on “Excuse the Ominous Silence

  1. komala

    hi brett, there are books that were written about 2 of the schools that i went to (both closed now) one here in sydney and one in canberra. i could give you the titles etc but that would be making it too easy and…oh ok i just don’t know them off the top of my head. googling the AME school canberra and the Australian Independent International School should probably yield results. i know there is some stuff at the national library. there was also an interesting government school in canberra called School Without Walls…also closed. the stories about them closing down are as interesting as the ones about them starting up (politics and intrigue)
    if you are interested i could put you in touch with some of my old teachers


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