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Working through a topic or question, a shaft of sudden inspiration hits. The cloud of fragmented ideas and thoughts clear as a whole picture begins to form coherently in your mind. What you have now worked out – in an unexpected, exciting eureka moment – will stay with you forever.
All teachers seek this experience for their students. Liz Attwell explores theories of education to argue that traditional teaching, ‘filling buckets’, must be replaced by dynamic, progressive teaching that promotes active learning – not just ‘lighting a fire’, but knowing how to lay the sticks and finding the matches too. This progressive approach seeks to create a basis for inner awakening and original insight, in order for students ultimately to come to their own a-ha moments.
In A Drop of Light, Liz Attwell presents her original research into the phenomenon of a-ha moments, offering a theoretical background as well as practical advice to give teachers the tools, lesson plans, anecdotes and inspiration to bring living thinking to their own classrooms. Goethe’s approach and Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogical ideas make an important contribution, but Attwell advises that teachers following Steiner’s philosophy should enter into dialogue with educators from other backgrounds. Working together, enlightened teachers around the world can help schools and colleges to become true learning communities.
LIZ ATTWELL (1960-2019) taught English at Michael Hall School, Sussex, for fourteen years. She studied English Literature at Exeter University followed by a PGCE training in Secondary English and Drama with Dorothy Heathcote at Newcastle University, where she was introduced to Process drama and the concept of handing ‘the mantle of the expert’ back to students. She taught in a comprehensive school and in 1986 took the Foundation Year at Emerson College, Sussex, followed by Dawn Langman’s Speech and Drama course and a stint of teaching at Edinburgh Steiner School. During the 1990s, Liz raised her three children and helped to save and restructure Tablehurst Biodynamic Farm in Forest Row. She completed a training in Education at Emerson College and began her work at Michael Hall, where she helped to introduce Continuing Professional Development and Theory U change management, whilst researching the interface between mainstream technique and the epistemology that underpins Waldorf Education for an MA in Creativity in Education at King’s College, London.
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