The value of an ‘unconscious education’ explicitly delivered

ANVLE4097A few years ago I attended an excellent training session at St. Peter’s Prep School in Johannesburg where the presenter, Dr. Ron Ritchhart, discussed the benefits of John Hattie’s visible thinking in developing a thinking culture within a school. Although this aspect of teaching & learning was enthralling there was something else that struck me on that day. Dr. Ritchhart spoke about the ‘unconscious messages’ we convey to our students every minute of the day in everything that we do. Since that day I have continually highlighted to our staff this aspect of ‘invisible or unconscious learning’ and remind them that we are, at all times, role models for our students.
I continue to emphasise the fact that this is a vital aspect of our roles as educators and that this is critical in developing the type of child that we are able to proudly call a Stanfordian.   To me, this is another significant aspect of what Stanford Lake College offers its students and firmly believe that this contributes to setting our school apart from many others. One only needs to spend some time on our beautiful campus to understand the impact that our teaching staff have on our pupils, and by this I am not talking merely about what they offer in the classroom (which of course is excellent – but I will elaborate on that in my final blog of the year), but rather what they offer as role models in each of their unique ways. In an upcoming reflection, I will also highlight the importance of our school value system and how this informs every aspect of what we offer at our excellent school.
At Stanford Lake College our teachers ‘walk the talk’ with regards to our value system as well as our promotion of character education. In a time where the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs Report’ highlights the need for students to become (amongst other things) emotionally intelligent, creative problem solvers with leadership ability, who are able to socially influence those around them from a position of integrity, it once again highlights the all important role that schools and educators have in shaping our future leaders. I can, without hesitation, proudly say that each member of our teaching staff has fully ‘bought into’ Stanford’s philosophy on education and what it is we are hoping to achieve for our students at the College. It is not easy to explicitly measure this unconscious learning but my thesis is that one need only look at what our alumni are achieving, in the fields they have chosen, to see the output of our labours.
I ‘doff my hat’ to our teachers who contribute to the growth of our pupils and thank them for continually striving to give our students the best possible all-round education they can.