On Sunday morning at 02.00, those of us who were awake set our clocks back an hour at just the right moment. We do that every fall and to remember whether to move ahead or behind, we learned “Spring Ahead, Fall Back” in school.

I don’t like the idea of ever falling back – I think that we should always endeavour to Spring Ahead. It’s a good thing that I’m not responsible for setting our clocks or for teaching students to remember that phrase.

Daylight Savings Time is actually observed in around 70 countries, though it was and remains something US-driven. The idea behind the concept was that it saved electricity. More recent US studies show that Daylight Savings Time may actually increase the amount of electricity used, though this may be state-specific.

Maybe Daylight Savings Time is akin to what we all-too-often do in schools. We look at the information available to us at a given moment and make a decision. We rarely take a fresh look at that decision (say, the idea of putting school desks in neatly-ordered rows), electing instead to just move forward and let the status quo congeal.

I’m wondering aloud how many of the historical decisions we have made in and about schools are ripe for re-examination. Not necessarily a major overhaul (though, of course, many are) but a reasonably gentle tweaking, like moving a clock back or forward by an hour.

What things would you suggest?

Don Adams, Head of School

Nov 7th, 2012 – Spring Ahead, Fall Back