Teacher Voices: Stewart Matthews | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

Here’s another post in my continuing series on teacher voices. I’m interviewing some of my former students who have gone on to become teachers. In this post, we hear from Stew Matthews, who graduated from Plymouth University in 2010. He is now director of computing for the Park Federation where he is responsible for the technology provision of several schools near London. In his busy schedule he still manages to teach specialist sessions in computing. You can follow him on Twitter at @ExmouthBull.

1) What made you decide to become a teacher? What/who inspired you? What were your…

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Coach class | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

There’s a wonderful scene in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. It’s where English sprinter Harold Abrahams (who believed he was the best in the UK) has been unexpectedly and soundly defeated by former Scottish international rugby player Eric Liddell in the 400 m.

After the race, Abrahams is sat despondently in the deserted stands, holding his head in his hands. Suddenly, a voice from below interrupts his misery. Down on the track, gazing up at him is the famous athletics coach Sam Massabini. He says: ‘Mr Abrahams, I know why you lost, and I can give you another 10 yards!’ He goes on to…

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Teacher Voices: Kate Bartlett | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

This is a continuation of my series of interviews with former students who are now teachers. The interview on this page features Kate Bartlett, a teacher at a primary school in Cornwall. You can follow her on Twitter as MissBartlettNQT.

1) What made you decide to become a teacher? What/who inspired you? What were your motivations?
I’d worked so many jobs where I was constantly bored, uninspired and felt like I was just muddling through life. I never felt like I was truly giving my best or reaching my potential. 

I’d considered a teaching course straight after Sixth Form but decided against…

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Thinking spaces | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

Do you need thinking space? What kind of space best encourages you to think creatively?

Recently I spent a week working in Singapore with the Lifelong Learning Institute. My base was iNLAB – a purpose built unit designed specifically to promote ideation – creative thinking and innovation. The image on this page is the communal area where students and staff can take breaks.

The LLI team members were writing some new research proposals and were allocated a room with large dry-wipe white boards on three walls. As I was working in this space with 5 other members of the team, I realised how…

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Danger in transition | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

Every time we change something we take a risk. When it comes to changes at a societal level, the risk intensifies, because it potentially affects many more people. 3 September 1967 was the day Sweden changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right side. It was known as Dagen H and brought Sweden into alignment with its Nordic neighbours.

Interestingly, a referendum held in Sweden in 1955 showed that 83% of voters were against the change. Imagine what would have happened if this percentage continued to drive on the left side out of protest? There would have been carnage.


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No white space! | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

This image I saw on social media just now got me thinking about creativity. In fact, it got me a little angry. You can see what is happening. This teacher is insisting on the ‘proper’ way to do something. In this case, it’s drawing, or colouring – and it’s clear to see that s/he is trying to scaffold children into a ‘correct way’ to do it. But what if there are many ways to do it, and in their own way, all of them are correct?

Creativity isn’t something you can keep inside a box. Expression of ideas cannot be contained with rules. Colouring outside the lines should be allowed. Some of the…

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Making it personal | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Wheeler)

For too long education systems have been standardising content, assessment and the learning experience. Clearly, one size does not fit all, and we need personalised learning experiences for our students if we are to prepare them for an ever changing, volatile world. Here’s a short video I made for the D-Transform project last year in Barcelona. It will be used in a forthcoming MOOC on the subject of digital learning environments.


Making it personal by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0…

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