Lessons for the elephant's child: Analysing a radical, successful and Catholic school

Journal article


Bright, Jim. (2012) Lessons for the elephant's child: Analysing a radical, successful and Catholic school. Journal of Catholic School Studies. 84(2), pp. 14 - 24.
AuthorsBright, Jim
Abstract

This article provides reflections on a liberal Catholic School that was described as becoming a "powerhouse of educational innovation and success". In particular, it refers to the personal experiences of the author attending that school in the late 1970s and the educational philosophy of the school described by the Principal in his book Educating the Elephant's Child (Hastings, 2010). In particular, the central role of relationships as a basis for learning and knowledge is described with reference to the philosophy of Martin Buber (1937). A range of innovative features of the school are described reflecting its liberal nature such as the extensive use of Christian names, the approach to discipline and worship are explained in terms of child-centred education that emphasised curiosity and questioning. Principled approaches to matters such as uniform, subject choice, examinations and obedience are explained within a coherent educational, philosophical and theological framework. Implications for contemporary education and educational leaders are presented with particular emphasis on the importance of a strong, well thought through and coherent educational philosophy allied to a commitment to acting out those principles. It is concluded that these qualities along with the courage of the Principal were major factors in the distinctive nature and success of this Catholic school.

Year2012
JournalJournal of Catholic School Studies
Journal citation84 (2), pp. 14 - 24
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
ISSN1834-7258
Page range14 - 24
Research GroupSchool of Education
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationAustralia
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8684q/lessons-for-the-elephant-s-child-analysing-a-radical-successful-and-catholic-school

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