Expansive Education

Teaching learners for the real world

Bill Lucas, Guy Claxton and Ellen Spencer

Acer Press and Open University Press

ISBN 9781742861104

$24.95 (ACER Bookshop)

The authors of this interesting book work at the Centre for Real-World Learning, University of Winchester in the UK.

They have coined the expression ‘expansive education’ to describe an approach to education which is increasingly being taken up internationally. They explore the purpose of education in a rapidly changing world. In this context they analyse the thinking and science behind the idea of expansive education and describe some of the pioneering work that is being undertaken.

Expansive education, the authors state, is expansive in four senses:

It seeks to expand the goals of education

Expanding young people’s capacity to deal with the tests of life

Expanding the compass beyond the school gates

Expansive education has profound implications for the role of teachers. 

The book showcases schools and organisations that are developing methods of teaching and learning that cultivate powerful learners.


Lynette Duffy

Illustrated by Ann Marie Finn

Self published

PO Box 828 Ipswich NSW 4305

ISBN 9780646560045


My Friend Inchy

Lynette Duffy

Illustrated by Ann Marie Finn

Self published

PO Box 828 Ipswich NSW 4305

ISBN 9780646560588

Self publishing author Lynette Duffy sent these two little books to Education Today. A search across Amazon and several online Australian bookstores failed to find a source, so potential buyers would have to contact the author by mail. 

Why go to all that trouble when there is a plethora of books that aim to help children deal with their problems? This reviewer likes the illustrations by Ann Marie Finn, the square format, and the few pages, the latter qualifying both books as quick bedtime reads. Events in Monster reminded the reviewer of his first weeks at a boarding school.

Monster tells about the problems Ben, a country kid, faces when he’s packed off to boarding school. He’s picked on and put down by teachers and kids. When staff and children start to call him Monster, he decides to act like one. It all comes out right in the end when his parents arrive for a crisis meeting with the principal. Ben explains what has been going on, he’s moved to a shared bedroom and makes friends.

My Friend Inchy is a tale about Timothy, a small boy who lives in a little house with his mother. He’s lonely and wants a pet. Sent on a shopping errant, he buys a puppy with the grocery money and takes it home. Mum, of course, doesn’t want a dog so Ben repeats the process with a kitten, a canary, a mouse and finally a frog – which escapes down the drain. He finds the ideal pet when he picks up a leaf and sees a caterpillar on it. He calls it Inchy because that’s the way it walks up his arm. The caterpillar thrives, turns into a chrysalis and emerges as a butterfly, which flies out of the window. Tears turn to smiles when the buttery returns and walks up his arm like Inchy used to do.


The Tale of Brave Ritchie

Shan Laks

Illustrated by Emma Stuart

Self published

ISBN 978479728824

RR $15.00

Available at barnesnoble.com and amazon.com

You get three cautionary tales for the price on one with this book. The hero is a rat called Ritchie. He faces dangerous strangers in the forest, bullying by a fat rat called Cheet, and discovers the good times to be had by losing weight, getting fit and playing footy.

The author is a retired primary teacher with a Masters in Education and a Certificate in Children’s Writing. Born in Fiji, her career in teaching covers several decades in Australia. During her school years she was a curriculum coordinator and mentor to student and new teachers. She also served on the Board of Teacher Education at the University of Northern Territory.