Charles Leadbeater – 2Treasury Place Melbourne 25 Sept 2009

25 09 2009

What follows are my brief notes from the one hour session with Charles Leadbeater who is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. Leadbeater sees relationships for learning embracing the family, workplace and community as well as the school as being centres for learning and being just as important.

Innovation occurs in extreme environments (i.e. 3rd world with limited resources). Charles had spent some time studying entrepenarial approaches to education in places like India and suggested their approach offered some leading examples of the changes required in education. He suggested the traditional way of trying to improve schools has reached a plateau.

People learn through relationships.  Learning with not just from – is more effective than.  His personal experience of secondary education was that of being done to and not being engaged.  He sees learning as a set of relationships.  Relationships build participation, recognition, care and motivation.  Without motivation the teaching skills are of limited value and the motivation frequently doesn’t come from teachers.

He used a fried egg on a plate analogy and suggested a need to operate on the white and the plate rather than just the yolk.  

Looked at social entrepreneurs.  He saw improvements in schools and reforms of schools.  Outside schools supplements schools – parental support, safety net around schools and then alternative radically different from current schools.  These radical alternatives are based on pull rather than push.  What you are going to learn will help you in the next few months.  We will start from where you are not from.  Make education fun – enjoyable to bring them back, “hole in the wall program” in india which has done well.  Huge reliance on peer to peer learning.

I enjoyed what Charles had to say and believed it made a lot of sense.  However, what was covered perhaps elucidated a problem more than a clear solution. Charles encouraged us to contact him and to continue the conversation. His contact details can be found at http://www.charlesleadbeater.net/home.aspx.

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