This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ANDREW CARPENTER AND THE VALLEY OF DEATH


How extreme sport made Dartmouth Academy’s Director of Learning a better teacher


D


artmouth Academy’s Director of Learning and Head of Sci- ence helped teach his students


how to learn by putting himself on the line with a gruelling challenge through Death Valley.


Andrew Carpenter is an enthusi- astic and fun teacher, popular with students and staff alike. He started at Dartmouth Academy in September 2011 and has been charged with helping students to take control of their own learning. A former head of Science at Kings- bridge Community College, Andrew is an internationally renowned teacher and teacher of teachers, who has a reputation of innovation and inclusion in his lessons. It’s not difficult to see why when you talk to him: his enthusiasm and boyish excitement at helping students to find their own way of learning, and improving standards wherever he goes shines through. He has brought this enthusiasm to Dartmouth and in one term he and his colleagues are showing what inspiring teaching can achieve in all subjects – results are up and student engagement on the rise. A big part of the story of how Andrew became such a passionate leader of learners is a footballing leg-break and subsequent journey to fitness and one of the hardest challenges in ‘Extreme Cycling’. ‘I went in for a 50/50 challenge while playing for my local football team in 2004,’ he said, ‘I came out


with a leg broken in three places. For the first time in my career as a chemis- try teacher, I would not be able to go into school for at least three months. At last I had time to think clearly about my teaching in the classroom and reflect on my life.’ So not satisfied with trying to get better from a nasty leg break, Andrew got down to some serious career de- velopment.


He had realised that even very bright students had trouble when


‘I decided that I would use this experience as a vehicle to


promote these ideas to students and then to develop activities in the classroom to work their learning muscles.’


faced with problems which were out- side their ‘comfort zone’.


‘I had noticed students found it dif- ficult to make links with previous les- sons and different modules of the syl- labus to solve problems, and the more we ‘spoon fed’ them facts, worksheets and presentations, the fewer questions


Andrew surrounded by training teachers, who come to Dartmouth Academy to learn about best practice.


were asked during lessons. The students seemed happy just to be lectured, couldn’t identify where they had misun- derstandings and subsequently were un- able to ask questions which would move their learning forward,’ said Andrew. During his recuperation he discovered the work of a man called Guy Claxton, who outlined what people needed to have to be ‘good lifelong learners’. ‘Claxton was a very inspiring man and said that learners needed resil- ience, to focus on learning when the going got tough, resourcefulness to use strategies to maximise learning, reflectiveness to help plan and organ- ise their learning and reciprocity, an ability to work along or share ideas working in groups. These four key at- tributes provided a framework for my ideas and gave me the key to help my students become better learners.’ And Andrew had an interesting way of engaging his students. ‘My brother, who is an academic in America, was taking part in the 2005 Death Valley Double Century Ride in March 2005. This is a ride through one of the hottest places on earth: tempera- tures can soar about 50 °C in the sum- mer, and the ride involves a 200 mile cycle through the day, climbing about 10,000 feet. ‘The Death Valley Ride would be a new learning experience for me, and I would have to use all the muscles of resilience, re- sourcefulness, reflectiveness and reciprocity to succeed. I decided that I would use


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136