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Welcome to the Expansive Education Network




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The Expansive Education Network is a professional learning network for teachers


Expansive education is an approach to teaching that focuses on developing dispositions that help young people to be fulfilled and successful in their lives


Why choose to be an Expansive Educator?


 Expansive Education in Australia


Australia is a leading light in its decision to emphasise the need for expansive capabilities in schools. Last week Bill Lucas launched a new report, A Capable Country: Cultivating capabilities in Australian education, with Melbourne-based Mitchell Institute, suggesting ways in which the vision could become reality across the education system.



The full report can be downloaded here



Professor Bill Lucas and Dr Ellen Spencer collaborated with the RSA to explore how young people feel about engaging in youth social action opportunities




The research found that young people are giving back to society more than adults might think and that there are strong links between a young person’s belief in their creativity and their confidence to participate.  However, more opportunities are needed that allow young people to express their creativity through selecting the problems they want to solve.

The report and an extensive literature review on creative self-efficacy that informed the research can be downloaded here :


Congratulations to Gomer Junior School as they win prestigious national TES award "STEM Team of the Year 2018"


Gomer Junior School took inspiration from research into engineering habits of mind (EHoM) conducted by Professor Bill Lucas  and Dr Janet Hanson at the Centre for Real-World Learning of the University of Winchester on behalf of the Royal Academy of Engineering and then linked this to their own pedagogy.


Teachers at Gomer Junior engaged children in real-world applications of STEM subjects and EHoM and enabled them to participate in hands-on activities to highlight career opportunities available in STEM subjects. 

Read more 



Developing Tenacity launch event and the 'fantastic' talk by @LucasLearn!

Most teachers will be familiar with the frustration of students giving up all too easily when things get difficult. This is a problem, because learning happens at that uncomfortable place where thinking has to be stretched. Students who tick along nicely without trying are those who come unstuck at higher levels of learning. 


And students used to failure need to experience the buzz of success through hard work if they are to accomplish anything in life. 


Educators attending the recent launch event listened to Professor Bill Lucas talk about why tenacity matters and, more importantly to teachers, how they can cultivate it. 

The book is already proving popular with teachers looking for ways to embed practical changes in their classrooms. Its framework of what tenacity means is highly practical. Said one teacher: I could see having students take their own Tenacity temperature against these specific components. Superb and focused!


But don’t take our word for this!
UKEdChat’s review says of the book: ‘no matter what stage of your teaching career you are at, you will find it thought-provoking and challenging’. If you’re looking for material for your teachers to dip into that provides quick wins as well as deep thinking, this book is well worth reading. 


Says Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, and teacher: 'To create beautiful work and contribute to a better world, students need tenacity. Bill Lucas and Ellen Spencer describe how schools can inspire and cultivate tenacity, pulling together research and best practices from a wide range of educators to guide schools in creating a culture to bring out the best in students'. 


Professor Ronald Beghetto of the University of Connecticut calls the book 'Accessible and immediately applicable'. 

Follow Developing Tenacity on Twitter @pedagogy4change



Twelve ways to be a more successful learner

Following on from our Successful Learners event at The University of Winchester in partnership with the Winchester Teaching School Alliance and Kings' School Winchester Professor Bill Lucas has written a blog detailing the twelve ways to be more successful. 



What do you really need to learn in life? How do you teach students to excel? What do successful learners do differently from others? What, in short, are their habits of mind? Over the last two decades the learning sciences have begun to provide some powerful answers to these questions.


Here are some suggestions, drawing on research, to help you identify the kinds of learning habits likely to help you succeed. Imagine a clock-face. This one comes from Winchester High Street. Think of each of the twelve points of its face as we look at twelve key aspects of learning.


Read Bill's blog here  



Mindset influence on academic achievement explored in new report



This latest analysis of PISA results by McKinsey & Company suggests that students’ mindsets have more influence on academic achievements than their socioeconomic background. McKinsey & Co call this mind-set a ‘motivation calibration’, where students exhibit effective behaviours (eg; doing more than expected, continually improving on tasks) that increase their academic performance. For students in poor performing schools, having a well-calibrated motivation mindset can support social mobility.

Read more 



New research from the RSA - The Ideal School Exhibition 



Two key aspects of Expansive Education feature strongly in The Ideal School Exhibition report by the RSA. The research stresses the importance of setting expansive aims for education and on the role of the teacher as the expert best able to select teaching and learning methods likely to produce a rounded education.


Report author and RSA’s director of education Julian Astle says of the debate about what an ‘ideal school’ looks like: ‘In short, it is a debate about what kind of education will prepare them, not just to write a good exam, but to live a good life.’. We too believe the point of education is more than exams and that expanding goals, places, mindsets and teacher personal identity are of utmost importance to help children and young people to become better at learning so they can thrive in all they do.


The report makes a number of recommendations including:

1. Create a new culture in educational assessment by making tests harder to teach to; 2. Reform the accountability system by reweighting league tables; and 3. Encourage a teacher-led professional renaissance by abolishing Ofsted’s ‘Outstanding’ category.


Above all, as Bill Lucas has argued on many occasions. Astle invites us all to move beyond the old binary alternatives of didactic or enquiry-led teaching to explore what is likely to develop young people's character as well as their knowledge. 


Read the full report here


Calling all our members in Scotland!

Nominations for the Scottish Education Awards 2018 are open. Your excellent work through eednet could be just what the judging panel are looking for. There are awards for STEM education, creativity, working with parents and many more.


Check the website for details and if you do decide to submit a nomination, or if you would like help in compiling one, do get in touch with us. An open letter to Damian Hinds MP


Bill Lucas welcomes the new Secretary of State for Education and invites him to help change the conversation about what schools teach.



Engineering Habits Of Mind

One of our expansive research areas is Engineering 'habits of mind'. Teachers in many subjects, including not only STEM (Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology) but also in English and Art, are interested in encouraging learners to 'think like an engineer' because they can see the value of developing children’s skills such as problem solving and improving within their subject. In a project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, teachers have developed some fantastic resources to help learners grow their engineering habits of mind. Teachers taking part might want to know


If I want to develop my pupils' engineering habits of mind, how can I use a formative assessment tool to ensure they can track their own habits?


This 'Engineering Habits of Mind' questionnaire, developed by one of our member teachers, attempted to answer a question like this. The link below is a great tool to try out with your class.




It will help them map their competencies and work out how they need to develop their thinking to become better problem solvers! For more free resources, see the Royal Academy of Engineering's dedicated page about the project.Engineering is just one of the research areas our teachers explore. Others include creative thinking, maths, science, outdoor learning, and giftedness.  Contact us to find out more. 

Good news - Creative Thinking will be the focus of the 2021 PISA test!


Read a glowing review in TES here


This innovative book applies the idea of growth mindset to the cultivation of a vital contemporary capability - creative thinking - drawing on both evidence and promising practices. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University   

What we're reading

15 Minute STEM - Great practical guide for teachers full of exciting quick activities that are easy to add into the timetable. Clear step by step instructions for creative learning in the classroom.





XIENTIFICA SOS - Perfect book for schools and to recommend for parents to read with their children over the summer. This book helps to inspire children with a love of science and nature and follows five children with different gifts in a fight for survival.





An evidence-informed, collaborative professional learning resource for school leaders 



This pack, from the Institute of Education, is a resource designed to help groups of teacher leaders bring about change in their schools. Designed for all types of school, and all types of leader. Leaders may hold formal roles; equally, they may lead change or supporting professional learning more informally. 
Aimed at promoting professional learning, it does so with the help of resource cards and a clear facilitator guide.

We've found the guide to be packed with professional learning practices that we know work. Teachers who are able to research and understand their own professional practice are in a much stronger position to help develop capable learners. 


The Learning Power Approach by Guy Claxton



This book is rich with great ideas to help teachers to teach students to become expansive learners. As Carol Dweck puts it in her foreword, 'You will cherish this book. It's full of engaging and informative classroom examples.'


A great book for any teacher who wants to improve outcomes for individual students by supporting them to develop the right mind set for success.



Education Forward

Image result for education forward

 This book is an exciting 'optimistic' and 'future-focussed' movement for change trying to influence the conversation around schooling in the face of unprecedented societal and technological transformation. 

We're enjoying this new book, which puts forward a collection of thinkpieces for a reimagined education based on creativity and love of learning! 



Upcoming events

17 Jan 2019 10:00 AM • The Steam Museum of Great Western Railway, Sir Daniel Gooch Theatre, Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY
21 Jan 2019 4:30 PM • University of Winchester, West Down's Quarter, Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5HT
24 Jan 2019 4:15 PM • Southgate School, Sussex Way, Cockfosters, EN4 0BL
29 Jan 2019 4:30 PM • The University of Winchester - Room TBC
04 Feb 2019 5:30 PM • IOE London, Room 790, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, Committee Room 1
25 Jun 2019 5:30 PM • IOE, Room 537, 20 Bedford Way, London
01 Jul 2019 4:15 PM • Southgate School, Sussex Way, Cockfosters, EN4 0BL

Supported by

Co-ordinated by

Pioneers and university partners


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