Our transformative TEAL free school

We believe there is a fundamental error in our society today – when children are born they are treated as empty vessels to be filled. Instead of treating them as full of wonder, joy and able to achieve. They learn to walk by trial and error and just watch them playing creatively in pure delight. Then they go to school and have to be someone they are not, and that can continue throughout their life – are you one of them?

We’ve proved over the last 15 years that by focusing on peoples strengths they can transform their lives. A ‘deficit’ model controls our society today and you only have to step back and see where that has got us.

Table 2What chance have our sensitive children got in changing their future – NONE. We need to dramatically change our society, where no one takes responsibility for themselves, when we are faced with a population explosion, climate change and the dwindling resources of our planet – we have to act NOW!

We are starting from a different place, of seeing children as awesome creators instead of empty vessels that need filing! Our transformative TEAL free school – will be designed, created and run by the students, teachers and parents in a committed collaboration.

The purpose of our TEAL free school is to create an environment where children are excited to come to school and to express themselves fully. They are comfortable to be who they really are – to be their genius self. Able to take off the mask of who they are supposed to be, or expected to be, or who they feel they must be. In other words to feel safe, to share their vulnerability and trust everyone around them – their peers, teachers and parents.

Our TEAL Free School foundation is three transformative concepts:

1) An evidence based personal development program* – incorporating advanced coaching, emotional literacy and mindfulness techniques, underpinned by neuroscience to create personal empowerment and self-responsibility. It builds self-esteem, self worth, emotional resilience, life skills and self-responsibility. Our innovative evidence based methodology:

2) An evolutionary TEAL company structure comprising 3 elements, based on a book by Frederic Laloux “Reinventing Organisations”.

  1. Self-management: To operate effectively based on a system of peer relationships, without the need for either hierarchy or consensus.
  2. Wholeness: People no longer have to show only their “professional” self, or hide doubts and vulnerability. Instead, a culture invites everyone to bring all of who they are to school.
  3. Evolutionary purpose: Instead of trying to predict and control the future, the school has a life and a sense of direction of its own. Everyone is invited to listen in and understand what the school wants to become, what purpose it wants to serve and create how.
    A Summary of his approach is here and a school case study here.

3) A new way of learning – at the moment we are considering ‘Topics instead of subjects’ from Finland. One of the leading educational hotspots in the world, is embarking on one of the most radical overhauls in modern education. By 2020, the country plans to phase out teaching individual subjects such as maths, chemistry and physics, and instead teach students by ‘topics’ or broad phenomena, so that there’s no more question about “what’s the point of learning this?”

What does that mean exactly? Basically, instead of having an hour of geography followed by an hour of history, students will now spend, say, two hours learning about the European Union, which covers languages, economics, history and geography. Or students who are taking a vocational course might study ‘cafeteria services’, which would involve learning maths, languages and communication skills. So although students will still learn all the important scientific theories, they’ll be finding out about them in a more applied way. More details here.

How can we expect our students to take responsibility for themselves and make a contribution to society, when some are coming to school tired, hungry, unable to concentrate and leaving school as unemployable. With teachers becoming administrators, exhausted with dealing with bad behaviour and leaving the profession.

It’s time to change.

Our children need to feel good about themselves, the school structure needs to create mutual respect and we need to prepare our students in a way that fits for today and be flexible for tomorrow.

Not only are we facilitating genius in the students, but students will in turn, imbued genius in every teacher, parent and family.

*The Canterbury Christ Church University evaluation really summarizes my whole approach, it can be accessed here. This is the most profound extract from the whole of the 56 pages: “The evidence gives a strong message that as a society we are underestimating children. When listened to, understood and empowered, they need not be passive recipients of ‘behaviour training’ but can contribute to loving, caring and the building of positive relationships in their own families and communities.”

For this project to be successful we need collaborators with a passion to transform education, who are comfortable in themselves and are life-long learners. Connect with me alan.wilson@me.com or our Facebook pages – Whole School Coaching Ethos and/or Change Our Society.