In Gillian Judson’s news update she mentioned a thriving LiD program at Great Torrington Bluecoat Primary School, in North Devon, UK. (Read more about the program here: “Recommendations For Running A Successful LiD Program In Your School”.) Ian Thomas introduced the program there and was a driving force in its successful implementation and expansion. In a recent conversation with Ian he told me over 200 students there are working on their LiD projects and the program is going “from
strength to strength”. Ian is now Headteacher at another school and will be introducing LiD there.
Towards the end of 2017, Kieran gave talks in Italy and Poland, witnessing the start of LiD in those countries. In Italy, following a conference and school visits in late 2016 at which Kieran gave talks about LiD, he returned in December 2017 to make additional presentations about the program but also—more fun—to be present at the starting ceremonies for, he was told, 624 students in a number of schools in the Bressanone, Modena, and Reggio Emilia regions. He enjoyed visiting a number of schools at which somewhat different opening ceremonies were created to encourage the students’ enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, some kids had the idea of getting him to sign the folders they received at the ceremonies, which then meant a very tired hand. Kieran’s favourite occasion involved entering a large room with around 60 9- or 10- year olds. He was introduced to the students who offered polite applause. Being a bit punch-drunk after a few school visits during the day, the grey and funereally-dressed professor stood up waving his arms demanding louder applause, to which the kids happily responded, but then the demand was for more, until whistles and shouts and stamping went on and on, as though Verona had just scored the winning goal in the final minute of the game. Not quite as planned, but it certainly set the ceremony off in a good mood.
In Bressanone, the children picked their topic out of a basket, and then their “starter kit” was given out in the white bags by Drs. Federico Corni and Enrico Giliberti. Dr. Federico is leading the push for LiD in the north of Italy. Kieran also met with senior educational leaders in Modena, who seemed keen to spread LiD to other schools in the region. A major conference is being planned for September 2018 in Italy.
Below are some pictures from Modena schools.
In Poland, the main proponent of IE and LiD is Dr. Stanislaw Dylak. He arranged a series of meetings with schools, professors, and educational institutes, mainly in Poznan and Warsaw, and arranged initial contacts for IERG with, among other groups, the Copernicus Institute. Kieran gave a series of talks, mostly about LiD to teachers, and IE to more general audiences. This visit was rather like that made the previous year to Italy, which led to the implementations this year. Dr. Dylak is working to help teachers begin LiD programs in a number of schools in September 2018.