Articles and resources

In Dutch

Otto Scharmer on the four levels of listening

Listening is the most underrated of leadership skills, leading to a disconnect between leaders and the situation. Otto describes four levels of listening. This is essential viewing for anyone desiring to truly understand situations.

The perspective, process, and practice of learning for well-being

by Linda O’Toole (2014)
Learning for Well-being describes the journey of learning to realize our unique potential through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development in relation to self, others and the environment. It is learning to be and become me … in the context of the community and society in which I live and to actively contribute to them in ways that truly nurture the uniqueness of me. Read this article in PDF!

Cultivating capacities: a description of the learning for well-being approach to core practices

by Linda O’Toole (2016)
Nine core practices are described with brief examples of how individuals and groups can work with these practices to develop the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities for the benefit of themselves and others. Read this article in PDF 

Linda O’Toole is a consultant to the Universal Education Foundation (UEF) which functions as a catalyst for the Learning for Well-being community (current information available at She brings over 30 years of experience in the human development field to her role as a well-being and inner diversity specialist. She began working with UEF in early 2006 and has participated in creating the Voice of Children surveys, various communication strategies and materials, and youth and adult workshops for cultivating capacities that contribute to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development. Editors: Michiel Matthes, Lea Pulkkinen, Luis Manuel Pinto, Christopher Clouder.

Understanding Individual Patterns of Learning:
implications for the well-being of students

by Linda O’Toole (2008)
The importance of our unique and natural ways of learning and the need to
explore these are essential.Yet these aspects are often missing in the educational discourse. As Kierkegaard urged over 150 years ago, ‘It is not enough for us to know what our students understand, we must also know the way he understands it’ (Kegan, 1994, p. 284). Learning how one learns can be a benefit for further learning throughout life, so, from this perspective, the earlier the better.

O’TOOLE, Linda. (2008). Understanding Individual Patterns of Learning: implications for the well‐being of students. European Journal of Education, 43(1), 71-86. Retrieved from

The Connected School – A design for well-being

by Colleen McLaughlin (2015)
Supporting children and young people in schools to flourish, thrive and achieve Read this article in PDF

Promoting Emotional Health, Well-being and Resilience in Primary Schools

by Colleen McLaughlin (2016)
This report synthesises evidence on promoting emotional health, well-being, and resilience in primary schools. We argue that: a) both universal support for all pupils and targeted work for specific groups and individuals can be very effective, and b) connected school systems help to translate the research evidence into sustained positive impacts. Overall, we recommend a carefully planned and well-supported programme of work on social and emotional learning that is rooted in, and reinforced by, connections with school systems and all stakeholders, and integration with broader pedagogical approaches to good teaching and learning throughout the revised Welsh curriculum. Read this article in PDF

Improving education through research? From effectiveness, causality and technology, to purpose, complexity and culture

by Gert Biesta
This paper focuses on the role of research in the improvement of educational practice. I use the 10 Principles for Effective Pedagogy, which were formulated on the basis of research conducted in the UK’s Teacher and Learning Research Programme as an example to highlight some common problems in the discussion about research and educational improvement. Read this article in PDF

Freeing teaching from learning: Opening up existential possibilities in educational relationships

by Gert Biesta (2016)
In this paper I explore the relationship between teaching and learning. Whereas particularly in the English language the relationship between teaching and learning has become so intimate that it often looks as if ‘teaching and learning’ has become one word, I not only argue for the importance of keeping teaching and learning apart from each other, but also provide a number of arguments for suggesting that learning may not be the one and only option for teaching to aim for. Read this article in PDF

Leadership, radical student engagement and the
necessity of person-centred education.

by Michael Fielding (2006)
We currently face a significant contemporary crisis, not just of student voice but of compulsory schooling and the social and political contexts that shape it. This paper offers a typology that seeks to understand and explain both that crisis and the burgeoning of ‘new wave’ student voice work in Australasia, North America and the UK. It suggests a number of ways forward that point to the possibility of developing forms of leadership that encourage approaches to student voice that take seriously the education of persons, not merely the thin requirements of an overly instrumental and ultimately diminishing schooling. Read this paper  in PDF

Why co-operative schools should oppose competition and what they might do instead

by Michael Fielding (2014)

We live in times when, in most countries across the world, the dominant assumption is that competition is a good thing. Not only do most of our current economic systems assume and seek to extend the development of ‘healthy competition’, it is presumed to be one of the most important aspects of our basic human nature and thus both desirable and, in any case, inevitable. The same is broadly true of education at a systemic level across the world and especially here in England. Competition between schools is seen as essential in the drive to improve standards and inculcate values that support the development of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial energy that neo-liberal democracies celebrate and 21st century economies are said to require. Competition also has a major internal role to play in shaping how schools work as organisations; how teaching and learning are conceived, enacted and rewarded; and how individual development is described and encouraged. The argument of this chapter is that this view of human flourishing is deeply, and destructively mistaken. It is a travesty of who we are and who we might become. Read this chapter in PDF

Learning Organisation or Learning Community? A Critique of Senge

by Michael Fielding (2001)

This paper takes a close look at a central aspect of the work of Peter Senge,’ namely his advocacy of the learning organisation and the ‘Communities of Commitment’ that he suggests are its central dynamic. Echoing strands of the liberal-communitarian debate, Senge argues for ‘the primacy of the whole’ and ‘the community nature of the self as two of the three Galilean shifts2 which have the potential to enable business to accomplish fundamental changes in our ways of thinking and being which have thus far eluded other agencies of social and political transformation. My concern is that Senge is not at all clear about the relationship between organisation and community, or, indeed, what community actually is.  Read this paper in PDF

Why and how schools might live democracy ‘as an inclusive human order’

by Michael Fielding (2016)
Inspired by John Dewey’s insistence that democracy is ‘primarily a mode of associated living, a conjoint communicated experience’ this chapter will argue that if they are to meet the aspirations and responsibilities of their democratic calling, schools should be more explicitly, more imaginatively and more profoundly committed to the enactment of democracy as a way of living and learning together ‘as an inclusive human order’. Read this chapter in PDF


In Dutch

‘Ik ben ook een mens’: vijf pedagogische kernbegrippen

Door Joop Berding (2016)
De laatste tijd zijn tekenen van een ommekeer zichtbaar in het denken over de rol van pedagogiek in de praktijk van opvoeding en onderwijs. Dit is niet in de laatste plaats te danken aan allerlei ‘bewegingen van onderop’, zoals die van leraren die (weer) (meer) zeggenschap over hun dagelijks werk willen hebben. In dit artikel formuleert Joop Berding – gebaseerd op verschillende ideeën van Janusz Korczak, John Dewey en Hannah Arendt – vijf kernbegrippen die als bagage voor een praktijkgerichte oriëntatie kunnen dienen. Ze zijn afkomstig uit verschillende denkkaders en culturele tradities en vooral, maar niet exclusief, gericht op het werk van pedagogische professionals.

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Gekoesterde kwetsbaarheid als professionele deugd

Door Geert Kelchtermans (2009)
In mei 2009 hield Geert Kelchtermans een lezing bij NIVOZ over professionaliteit en professionele ontwikkeling van leraren. De analyse die hij daar maakte van die thema’s is nog steeds verrassend actueel. Om de  maatschappelijke tendensen te benoemen, die de professionaliteit van leraren bedreigen, gebruikt hij de term ‘performativiteit’. We plaatsen de tekst van deze lezing integraal, in twee delen. In dit eerste deel schetst hij het speelveld en de bestaande situatie. Hij stelt dat de kwaliteit van relaties tussen mensen in het gedrang komt door het performativiteitsdenken. In het tweede deel schetst hij een aantal aspecten van goed leraarschap die worden genegeerd of onderschat in het performativiteitsdiscours.

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Leiderschap in onderwijs: from value to action

Door Luc Stevens (2016)
In de dagelijkse ervaring zullen velen beamen hoe belangrijk het is dat een school een goede leider heeft. Al is het maar vanuit een negatieve ervaring. Tegelijk blijkt het keer op keer lastig om precies te benoemen waar die belangrijke rol dan uit bestaat. In dit artikel willen we proberen hierin verheldering en houvast te geven, met name vanuit pedagogisch perspectief. Het artikel bestaat uit twee delen. In het eerste deel gaan we in op de morele kern van leiderschap in onderwijs, die samenhangt met de pedagogische opdracht. In het tweede deel gaan we in op de congruentie tussen het onderwijsproces, meer specifiek de interactie tussen leraar en leerling, en het proces van leidinggeven.

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Naar een bredere opvatting van kennis in onderwijs

Door Hartger Wassink (2016)
We zeggen vaak dat onderwijs meer gebaseerd zou moeten zijn op kennis. Maar wat bedoelen we dan eigenlijk? In dit artikel verkennen we deze vraag. We gaan in op de vraag wat we verstaan onder kennis, hoe wie die ontwikkelen en vergaren, en wat uiteindelijk kennis ‘bruikbaar’ maakt voor de onderwijspraktijk. We schetsen eerst de context van waaruit we kijken naar het belang van kennis en welke kennisopvattingen je kunt gebruiken. Dan kijken we vanuit drie perspectieven naar de consequenties van die opvattingen: dat van de leerling, de leraar en tot slot het onderzoek. De conclusie is, dat willen we betekenisvol onderzoek doen in het onderwijs, dat we daar ook de contextueel bepaalde en waardengeladen dimensies in moeten betrekken.

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