Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Next chapter - India

So as the UK is battered by storm Angus, my thoughts are turning to Mumbai and Pune and Udaipur and Ahmedabad. Two weeks today, Tuesday 6 December, I'll be winging my way over to the sub-continent to continue my research into creativity, curiosity and education.
I've already realised that I've missed a great opportunity to stop by in Abu Dhabi en route and visit Little World where the inestimably talented Jen Hogan is Director. Little World
So that will be another hole in the ozone and another crater of my carbon footprint to pay a visit another time...

Ah India - let's get the priorities into perspective; I'm still looking for a test match cricket ticket in Mumbai on 8 December.
But then it's down to the research - visiting schools courtesy of Adhyayan Foundation in Mumbai.
And the University School of Education in Pune; and the beautiful city of Udaipur and the Riverside school in Amhedabad, celebrating 15 years - Riverside

I'll be in Ahmedabad for Christmas which will be a new experience in itself, away from the bosom of the family.. no overeating, no inebriation, no Xmas Specials on TV.

here are a few more pictures of Korea... to be going on with

Friday, 28 October 2016

Blade Runner on Steroids

There's always that delay, and not just down to jet lag, when you return from a trip and the processing of all the sensory overload takes longer than you imagine.

And there is a hesitancy about committing thoughts too early; as if, if you can't write everything in the style of Bill Bryson or Ernest Hemingway, why even start?

Let's let a picture tell a thousand words..
There are oases of calm, but generally life in Korea is played out at a hectic pace, amid a landscape of high rise apartments and motorways.

The resulting haze that greets you each morning is often slow to clear; and it is little surprise to see so many young people wearing face masks.

But it is a remarkable and in many ways beautiful country; it is certainly fascinating.  To understand the role of creativity and learning, you really do have to appreciate a culture that places great emphasis on achievement and academic success.  Advertisements are often the tell - key words like innovation, imagination, possibility, advanced technology... ideas rise like helium balloons to capture keys that unlock riches and golden eggs.  Yes I know that is a scrambled egg of a metaphor but it is one I witnessed on a (Samsung natch) TV.

There is a term, dolkee, which seems to refer to creative eccentricity, but it does not carry high status in the way that gifted and talented do. Children work long hours in school, and then many have private tutoring in the evenings. School work will often take up a 12 or 14 hour day, often finishing at 10:00pm.

I fear for the stress placed on the expectations of these young people.

Look out for reflections on health and diet in another post..

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Seoul palaces, museums, lectures and rice wine

There's a kind of sensory overload about visiting any country for the first time, especially in the Far East and where the language is in brush-stroke characters.. but Seoul is so different that I'm accumulating images and impressions before the brain has time to process and the memory to reflect.

The first evening, after finding the very central hostel, I was out in the Sunday evening crowds of the street markets and late night shops.. with a Korean barbeque restaurant for sustenance.

By the end of Monday, I had been expertly guided round the Royal Palace, visited the new Children's Science Museum and given a lecture to the students and professors at the Korean National University of Education.

The only way to begin to communicate the eclectic thousands of first impressions is to post photographs.. so with apologies that the blog may appear rather too western tourist for some readers liking.. here are some images from the first three days.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


I'm off on my travels again.. and although I have documented many of my previous journeys in blogs and FB, this is a new blog to mark a new chapter in my life - my Winston Churchill Fellowship 2016 to research creativity and innovation in education.
My travels this time will take me to the wonderful vibrant culture of South Korea - in just three days time; and later in my first adventure to India - in December.

With some space in between journeys for reflections I hope that this record of my research and learning will reveal the insights I have wanted to share for some time.. about how we learn, what sparks our curiosity, and how we make connections across our experiences and knowledge - the creativity that underpins all our learning (or could, or should).

For those interested in where my support is coming from please check out the WCMT website here

And for those of you with a long memory - or simply interested in previous journeys undertaken by this wanderer of the planet here is a link to my first blog (started in 2001 when you could grab a title like travelupdate) here