BY VIRGINIA SMALL
Drive past any Australian school and you’ll probably spot a sign at the front gate praising a student for a sport award or bragging about high academic results achieved by school leavers. These are praiseworthy milestones, but are they an accurate measure of achievement?
Dale Murray believes there is another way to measure school success and it has more to do with long-term results, rather than meeting short-term objectives and gaining awards.
Dale runs the Flexible Learning Centres for Edmund Rice Education. Prior to this, he taught in a mainstream high school.
His transition to another style of teaching began when he was invited to observe a new type of learning environment initiated by the Christian Brothers in Logan City, near Brisbane.
At the invitation of the Brothers, Murray attended what was then a drop-in centre for students from a nearby state school where he was considering a position as an English teacher. It was Easter 1988.
“I wrote my name on the whiteboard and one by one the class began to disappear,” says Dale. “One (student) left through a window. When I turned around they were all out the back under a tree. When I followed them outside I was then told by one student, ‘You’ve got really no idea, have you?’.”
A different kind of success (Australian Catholics)