Without staff meetings a mainstream school cannot:

-debate the merits of ideas & proposals together

-collaborate in teams to reach school goals

-share roles to ensure effective & efficient use of time

In this episode, we dive deep into the culture, protocols and activities found in mainstream staff meetings and tease apart the pros and cons of this approach. 

How do we help students effectively and efficiently demonstrate their learning at school? How do I as a teacher engineer the best possible unit to maximize the use of our time together to achieve our curricular goals?

These could be questions at the core of the hearts and minds of teachers in mainstream schools. Today we dig deep into the indicators you'd see when planning that help you identify that you are likely teaching in a mainstream school.  

Mainstream schools support teacher growth through continuous training or "professional development". Today we look at how this professional development, with its transparent and achievable goals, lines up with the core mainstream value of "opportunity".


We all agree that we want “good teachers”, but it's tough to reach a consensus about just what constitutes a good teacher ,and even tougher to measure it. Teacher Evaluation can come in many forms and when done effectively can contribute to individual growth and a supportive school culture. In the second half of the show, we look at how mainstream schools go about this evaluation and the "babies and bathwaters" of the mainstream opportunity value approach.

In the show we reference the following articles :
5 Ways To Make Teacher Professional Development Effective by Maria Kampen (Prodigy) and Teacher Evaluation: An Issue Overview by Stephen Sawchuk (Education Week)


This week, we look into the culture and beliefs of the staff in a mainstream school.

We ask, what matters to teachers in mainstream schools in terms of their relationships? And how can we build strong, positive cultures that balance transparency, logic and support without being in constant flux or getting tied up in the cold data of bureaucracy?

We also dive into the evolution of the staffing hierarchy, from the single teacher in the one room school house to the mainstream mega-schools with its hundreds of specific roles.

And finally, we discuss how we can employ our limited budges to build a pastoral & teaching staff that best serves the wide needs of students.

Listen in and tell us you thoughts on twitter and at reinventingeducationpodcast@gmail.com


In today's episode, we talk about the pushes and pulls that shape the role of a principal or head teacher in a mainstream school, including; the challenges of managing a large and diverse staff, bearing ultimate responsibility for student growth and being the conduit between government agencies and the community.

We also discuss how the job of principal grew from coordinating a few teachers in the one room schoolhouse to the complex managerial role that it is today.

We hope that you enjoy the conversation. Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or at reinventingeducationpodcast@gmail.com


Today we have a second chat with Dr Brad Kershner that builds on the strands from our first conversation back in episode 55.

We dig deeper into the ways that we can create a developmentally minded school in both culture and practice. We also talk about the kinds of relationships that we want to nurture and ask how we can best embody our broad and complex human values in a world where education is often reduced to workplace preparation.

Brad is a school leader and educational theorist. He is currently the head of the Early School at Carolina Friends School in Durham North Carolina. He has an MA in the philosophy of religions and a PhD in education. 

Brad's book "Understanding Educational Complexity" is available for pre order now and will be published in December. You can pre-order here!

Before listening today, if you have not already checked out episode 50 of Reinventing Education, we suggest heading over there first to get an overview of many of the ideas that we talk about in today’s episode.

It might also be helpful to listen to that first discussion with Brad a few weeks back in episode 55.

We hope that what you hear is engaging, relevant and enjoyable. Feel free to contact us with questions and feedback at reinventingeducationpodcast@gmail.com or on Twitter.

In today's episode, we look at how evolving designs of school buildings have gone hand in hand with changes in education.

We discuss why the traditional one room schoolhouse gave way to the mainstream cellular model and consider the extent that this better serves students and teachers.

And, of course, we get to the thorny issue of whether schools are just designed to save money, even where education sufferers.

Here at Reinventing Education, we have a theory that the three main aims of school are citizenship, workplace preparation and self development. But how does a mainstream school, with its core value of opportunity, carry out these three aims?

And when push comes to shove, where does it devote its limited resources?

Join us! And be sure to let us know your thoughts and experiences in this area at reinventingeducationpodcast@gmail.com and on Twitter.

In today's show we refer to this paper written by Shuayb & O'Donnell (UK National Foundation for Educational Research) which compares aims in schools across Europe since the 1960s.  

The website purposeofschool.org was also very helpful in clarifying school aims.

Today we launch Season 5 in earnest with our first deep dive into the world of the "mainstream" school. This is the school just down the road. It's the one that populates our collective memory. It's a world of differentiation, standardised tests, sports teams, report cards, graduations and qualifications.

The mainstream school is the water that we swim in, and it's very easy to see it as the only form of education. However in this season we will ask, "To what extent does mainstream education fit the global context of the 21st century, and what can it learn from the traditional and progressive systems?

Season 5! Welcome back. We fire up the new season by interviewing Dr. Brad Kershner on issues relating to creating a school that has development at its core. The discussion includes; the fundamental importance of relationships, finding truths that cut across all values and how the codes we speak are not always in alignment with the cognition going on inside us.

Brad Kershner is a school leader and educational theorist. He is currently Head of the Early School at Carolina Friends School in Durham, NC. He earned a MA in Philosophy of Religions at the University of Chicago and a PhD in Education at Boston College. His recent writings and presentations have addressed topics such as: complex systems, mindfulness and meditation, human development, integral theory, racism, and the (mis)use of technology.

Check out one of his talks here - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjktqQ0SSSNwUCcjh-Av1vg

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