This will be a different break for us this year. For the first time in twelve years I will not be thinking about the business, or at least i wont be thinking about Alite. After a long and successful period where we impacted positively on lots of schools, staff and students Heather and I have decided to start afresh. From January 1st Heather is pursuing her own alternative interests and I am officially re-incarnated as alistairsmithlearning and hence this new site!
Alite achieved a great deal in its 12 year history. Through our work in accelerated learning we encouraged schools to think more about understanding and developing learning and learners and less about covering the curriculum and covering ones’ backsides. Our learning to learn approach – L2 – showed how important it was for students to do more than learn to regurgitate well-rehearsed arguements and facts to pass exams.
We shook the academic tree and got educationalists arguing less about school effectiveness, total quality management and re-engineering to arguing endlessly about controversial and more worthwhile topics such as – learning styles, motivation, the brain and the place of personal attributes in learning. Alite created products – such as the ALPS Approach, L2 and PAL which worked and which left a legacy.
We also helped energise some sections of the teaching profession who, in giving up on their students, had given up on themselves. The books we wrote and co-wrote broke the mould of books for teachers! Previously they comprised theory or polemic and were correspondingly dull and worthy in both appearance and style. Following the Accelerated Learning Series a whole generation of easy to read practical ‘guides’ followed. Finally, our training programmes modelled the methods and values we espoused. They were never exactly the same; always brought an energy and more importantly were never in service of orthodoxy or the familiar line. I am standing here on the cusp of a new era – the GoveShaw era – and feel fired up to kick on once again!