Our inspiration has come from many places, whether the global gurus who've shared their thinking in talks and books or the parents who are so keen to work with their amazing teachers to give their children the best start or the dedicated and creative teachers we've seen at events like TeachMeet (unpaid underground gatherings where teachers share their tips and tricks they use to engage their children).
But four people really merit special mention:
Our attention was first drawn to what we might do to inspire our children with creativity when we chanced across The House of Fairy Tales in a field at Camp Bestival back in 2010.
Run by Deborah and her husband Gavin Turk, The House of Fairy Tales is a national children’s arts charity that exists to engage with young people of all ages from any background. Central to the House of Fairy Tales is the belief that providing imaginative spaces to learn and play is not just about creating happy children but happy families, healthier communities and a thriving society too.
Deborah let us use the name 'Little House of Fairy Tales' for the first 3 events we ran at St Saviour's Primary in Paddington before changing the name to STEAM Co. and is pictured above on a throne we made for her at our first day in 2011.
SIR KEN ROBINSON
It was Sir Ken's TED talk on 'how schools can kill creativity' which really woke us up and made us realise what a challenge primary teachers have on their hands and how parents and the community can work with them.
A global educational guru from Liverpool, Sir Ken has talked and consulted across the world, with some of his best talks talking place here in the UK, either at The RSA, LiverPool TED-X or for the BBC Desert Island Discs.
His books to date have been an inspiration to us all, but at the time of writing we eagerly awaiting his latest book 'Creative Schools' which outlines The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education. The photo above was taken on one of Sir Ken's many trips back to the UK when he signed a STEAM Co. book for one of our younger team members and fans.
Professor Guy Claxton
While there are many views about how education needs to change to relfect the changed and rapidly changing world. few people articulate a blueprint for that change better than Professor Claxton.
His Building Learning Power Approach is built on the 7 pillars of 'Confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and craftsmanship'. It lies at the heart of his latest book and campaign 'Educating Ruby' about which he says "Schools are not fit for their 21C purpose and they have to change. It’s no good leaving this change to politicians, it needs to be owned by parents."
Seth Godin is unquestionably one of the marketing world’s most prolific thinkers, doers and authors with 17 odd books behind him from All marketers are liars to Purple cow and Unleashing the idea virus. His is the No 1 blog on marketing, tribes and respect. Not to mention a string of top ranking TED talks.
A guru of, in his words, 'marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread', Seth’s the master of one thing in particular - common sense - or specifically, packaging it up with a good story and accessible, engaging and entertaining presentation.
His latest book ‘What to do when it’s your turn’ has been a major source of inspiration and impetus for STEAM Co. and lay behind our new year's blog post here .
It forms a key part of our launch event in Liverpool.