Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
19 January, 2024

Message from the Head of Secondary

Message from the Head of Secondary - Message from the Head of Secondary
Give Dewey his due…
On the 16th January 1897, John Dewey published an article called ‘My Pedagogic Creed’ which marked the beginning of a long and incredibly important body of work for a man whose ideas about education and its purpose remain as relevant today as they were 127 years ago.  John Dewey worked as a classroom teacher for a few years before entering academia to embark on a career of studying education, considering its purpose and making recommendations to various government bodies on how to organise education for young people. 

Crucially, Dewey gave us the idea that education is a social and interactive process, one which can help the society in which it happens to become a better place to be.  He argued that the curriculum taught in schools should encourage experiences and interaction and that students should have the opportunity to decide on some aspects of their own learning.  He believed that education should be about more than personal gain, that an education should also allow students to understand the role they can play in the ‘common good’ and he put forward brand new ideas about experiential education and experiential learning that we see in schools all over the world today.  Dewey also had plenty to say on the role of the teacher.  For example, he wrote ‘’The business of the teacher is to produce a higher standard of intelligence in the community, and the object of the public school system is to make as large as possible the number of those who possess this intelligence’’. As I wander the corridors and classrooms of our school, I see Dewey’s ideas in action every day.

We know that our school, and Nord Anglia Education schools all over the world, are at the leading edge of education and we certainly see ourselves as driving new educational ideas where they work for our students.  But crucially a Nord Anglia school is always aiming to work with the BEST ideas in education – and sometimes they aren’t always new ones.  Teachers in our school are committed to continuing their own professional learning and to draw upon ideas from across the globe – and across the centuries – when it comes to improving learning in their classrooms.  Whether a learning technique comes from John Dewey’s visionary 19th century work or from a recent Twitter post by Welsh educational expert Dylan William, if it supports learning for our students, we want to use it, consider it, review it and improve it.

Education and how we should ‘do it’ has always been and will always be a topic for discussion and thought.  Teachers in all Nord Anglia schools and certainly here at BIS Abu Dhabi are thinkers and we are aware of our responsibility to learn and grow as professionals, to experiment a little and to challenge ‘the way we have always done things’.  Our students benefit from their teacher’s passion to find new ways to explain, to show, to help understanding every day in their classrooms.  When you choose a Nord Anglia school for your child you can be assured that every aspect of the curriculum and the co-curricular activities has been carefully considered with the very best educational research and ideas in mind.  John Dewey wrote " … teachers show us our way … ".  We take that responsibility very seriously and we always will.


Chris Lowe

Head of Secondary

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