Learning is an Adventure
“The empires of the future will be empires of the mind” – Winston Churchill
John Stewart is an experienced and passionate leader of learning and change. He believes schools must nurture a sense of wonder to engage and develop life-long learners.
Green School is a very progressive and holistic school that emphasizes the importance of sustainability. The Green School focus on the Three Frames of Learning encapsulates an authentic focus on engagement, mastery, grit and experience.
I came to Green School with my family because I believe my children should have in their education a global understanding. I wanted to take them away from the mono-culture of suburbs and compliance, and open their minds to the world. Bali, and Indonesia, offers an exciting, enriching and confronting consciousness of cultural diversity.
My focus is to be true to the Green School vision:
Our vision is of natural, holistic, student-centered learning environments that empower and inspire our students to be creative, innovative, green global leaders.
I believe good learning starts with good questions; one we must all consider is have we defined learning as ‘schooling’ and in so doing we have created mundane cerebral silos? Is schooling really thinking of the future needs of our students – or is it archaic?
I wish to contest schools can be structured better to maximize the learning experience and gains. I believe schools must focus on the future – not stay entrenched in the past. A major issue for “first world” countries is disengagement. If students are not connected they will not succeed. Globally, drop-out rates are soaring. School has become boring (for students and teachers).
There should be greater diversity so best practice can be created, defined and then shared. Standardised schooling, based on systems of regulated control – driven by testing regimes, will not promote excellence. We need to feed the positive attitudes to develop the successful habits that promote a successful life: confidence, openness, resilience and excellence. We must stimulate passion, persistence, positivity and patience. We want our learners to flourish.
Schools need to promote engagement, stoke curiosity, implement best practice: establish positive relationships, repeat purposefully concepts being taught, monitor progression, emphasise expert feedback, contextualize the abstract, and look at how the day, the term, the year (and the physical environment) support individualized learning development. There should be strong community links.
At the heart of school is learning – and at the heart of learning is the student.
Our educational offering focuses on the future. The leaders we develop will be the voices of sustainability and sense in the decades to come. This is a noble cause. It is needed.
John accepted the role of Head of School at Green School in December, 2013. John is married to Sophie. They have four children, Katie, Celia, Wilfred and Mimi.
John believes his point of difference stems from his family background, growing up as one of eight children on the Northern Rivers of NSW.
In 2013 he was awarded a National Excellence in Teaching Award for Leadership – one of only twelve nationally (Australia).
John’s focus is innovative, holistic and child-centred. With over 20 years of experience, John’s professional expertise is far-ranging. He has a Master of Education from Cambridge University, produced a multimedia CD ROM and textbook on writing, called Write Online back in 2000 published by Nelson Thorne, has been a company director of a multimedia publishing company, Harmony Interactive, and co-authored with the widely acclaimed child psychologist, Dr John Irvine, Thriving at School: a handbook for parents.
He regularly updates his educational blog: http://www.thrivingatschool.com/
to share his thoughts and points of interest.
These achievements come on top of his educational background:
1990 – 1992: Brainstorm productions, North Coast NSW
Actor touring schools performing healthy lifestyle and conflict resolution shows.
1993 – 1997: Hill House International School, London – a privately owned coeducation prep school in the heart of London, famous for children walking in crocodile file wearing knickerbockers and gold jumpers.
Head of Section;
1997 – 2002: St John’s College School, Cambridge (voted by Tattler magazine as the UK’s best prep school) – world renowned for its Choristers and red blazers;
Head of English;
Editor of the Eaglet (the school’s year book publication)
Director of Studies;
2003: Barker College, Hornsby, Sydney
Three terms teaching as a Year Six teacher
Head of Junior School at Central Coast Grammar – a coeducational day school on the Central Coast of NSW.
Headmaster of Tudor House, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands.
Australia’s only stand-alone primary boys’ boarding school, famous for its focus on responsible risk taking.
John has taught in public and independent schools. He has featured on television in The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, The Project, as well as giving interviews on Australian local and national radio stations. He has represented APPA on a panel working to develop Australian Standards for Boarding Schools. He has also been liaison Head for the Deputies’ group in IPSHA.
He is an authority on learning, teaching, curriculum development, assessment, boys’ education, technology in education and developing writing skills.