“Pollens pédagogiques”, Geneva- Switzerland

| April 8, 2011 | 10 Comments 

Wow! What an event. Over one thousand, four hundred teachers, from forty four schools, at five different venues across Geneva! Speakers from across the globe. “Togetherness is a strength”, said one of the organisers, at last night’s opening dinner for the presenters. A grand day out for schools across the city, and done in great style.

The title is Pollens pédagogiques, with the concept of spreading teaching ideas, like pollen, and cultivating flowering ways of helping children grow. (Ooo Mr Rylands, you’re getting all metaphorically poetical). The seminars are taking place in both French and English, but my French hasn’t seen the light of day for many years, so is far from blossoming!

Today, we were presenting a couple of sessions at Ecole Internationale La Grande Boissière, and we are looking forward to when we return, for three days in May, to work with students, and teachers, on extensions of elements we covered so far.

Congratulations, and thank you, to Jean-Claude Brès, from L’Institut de Formation Pédagogique, Marcia Banks, Vice Principal, Ecole Internationale La Grande Boissière, (International School of Geneva) Primary School, La Grande Boissière Campus, for organising our trip to Geneva for this huge event.

It is always a shame, when you realise that there are some superb people booked to speak at the same event as you, and you can’t nip out and see their sessions. It is great, though, to get to know each other a little before the actual day of the conferences and workshops . . . to discover new acquaintances.

And what better way than to do so in the setting of a school with the same name . . . L’Ecole la Découverte, who welcomed us to their school yesterday evening. Just a sweet irony that we couldn’t find “the school of discovery” at first. When we did, they had cooked up an excellent Thai feast, in one of the school halls. Thanks all.

John Ratey (John Ratey.com) of SparkingLife.org, gave an excellent keynote on the power of excercise on the brain and learning. John talked about the ever increasing sedentary lifestyle, where children are not moving as much as they used to, partly due to parental fears of letting their children, travel and play independently.

Since the dawn of the TV remote, we haven’t moved as much. Hunter gatherers from the “if you don’t run, you don’t eat” age, travelled an average distance of between 9 and 14 miles a day. 10, 000 years is not long time in an evolutionary sense.

Out of our moving brain came our thinking brain

John referred to a quote from Plato: “In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.”

This correlation, between physical and cognitive, is huge.

More to follow, as the day progresses, about our fellow speakers, and this powerful event.

Some folks we have met, here in Geneva, include Helen Peter from HpsourcED is a successful teacher, trainer and educational consultant, with in-depth experience in a wide variety of educational contexts, in every phase of education, from Early Years to Adult.

Helen has developed techniques to enhance behaviour and motivation, pastoral education, Emotional Literacy and “Brain-friendly” teaching and learning styles.

Oliver West is a fascinating man to spend time with.

Oliver, who hails from Marazion, in Cornwall, is a successful artist, printmaker, university lecturer and visual thinking specialist… and all round lovely chap.

Over the last ten years, Oliver has created Footnotes ©, a unique portfolio of visual thinking techniques for learning and personal development, which he teaches throughout the U.K.

These techniques enable learners who think predominantly in visual terms to develop their own personalised strategies for learning, and are particularly beneficial for dyslexic learners. With strong dyslexic tendencies of his own, Oliver said that he is uniquely qualified to approach this learning difference.

As promised in our session, please see below:

Making multimodal writing frames Using PowerPoint 2003

Helpsheet for 2007

Helpsheet for 2010.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (10)

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  1. GenevaLunch » “Teaching pollen” spreads via Geneva | April 13, 2011
  1. I’m following you updates with interest Tim. What a great quote:

    “The title is Pollens pédagogiques, with the concept of spreading teaching ideas, like pollen, and cultivating flowering ways of helping children grow.”

    An event with such a focus will surely be one which will provide you and the rest of us reading your updates many points to reflect upon. Keep the posts coming!


  2. Tim says:

    So so much happening here, Dave, that it will be impossible to reflect on everything. There are 1400 people involved, and yet we all managed to hook up, via video conferencing, this morning! Five huge venues and we were as one for a while.

    Merci Monsieur Mitchell.

  3. Susan Boller says:

    A brilliant presentation filled with lots of useful information/links & lots of laughs! Thank you SO much. Looking forward to seeing you again at our school in May.

  4. Gool Irani says:

    Dear Mr. Rylands,
    You’ll be happy to know that I’ve put the ‘ironing’ aside to write to you. I’d like to say that I made the right choices for the workshops. Today, was quite an enriching day starting with Dr. Ratey’s talk – I shall try to ‘move’ more!?! Both your presentations were inspiring and I will surely share all the information with our class teachers at Les Marronniers. Many thanks and hope to see you in May. Best wishes,Gool Irani

  5. Tim says:

    Thank you Gool and Susan for your speedy reponses. I am glad you found today enjoyable and useful. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Looking forward to coming back and doing more in May. All the best- Tim and Sarah.

  6. jamaicandavina says:

    Dear Tim,

    Thanks so much for the presentation and also for your useful ipad tips you showed me on the video. Am already making puppets with my daughter.

    see you in May,


  7. Stephane Bocken says:

    Dear Tim,

    This was a very inspiring journey through the marvels of ICT. I need people like you to encourage and enrich my teaching practices. The first one that I will adopt is the PowerPoint hidden secret active X text box that will allow my IB bio student to review for their exams with a superb interactive tool. You have inspired me to start working during my holidays… well; it’s not real work because you manage to give me fun tools to do it. Ce fut un vrai privilège de vous avoir à Genève.

    Bon voyage,


  8. Tim says:

    Thank you Stephane, for your kind response. Have fun with the interactive elements with your students. All the best Tim and Sarah

  9. Tim says:

    Thank you Davina. Your daughter is lucky to have a mum who sees the potential of creativity in a digital sense, but also understands the importance of the analogue “out and about” side to.
    Have fun with some pottery
    All the best
    Tim and Sarah

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