Welcome to the Expansive Education Network 



The Expansive Education Network is a professional learning network for teachers


Why choose to be an Expansive Educator?

Expansive Education 

is an approach to teaching that focuses on developing dispositions that help young people to be fulfilled and successful in their lives   

Latest news 

Expansive webinars & workshops with

Bill Lucas


Professional learning webinars with Bill


4-5pm today - 4th June  Zest for Learning

What is zest? Why does instilling curiosity matter? Why do we need all young people to find purpose and balance in their lives? How do we promote student engagement? How best do we work with outside organisations to add gusto to all that we do in schools? All of this and more will be explored! 

More dates for your diary  

Tuesday 16 June

Wednesday 1 July

Topics to be announced shortly 

Home schooling during lockdown - how are parents coping with the challenge?

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, most parents of school-age children continue to be responsible for home schooling. But without any experience or time to prepare, and alongside weathering the pandemic, job changes and other caring responsibilities, how are parents coping with the realities of ensuring their children carry on learning while not-attending school and what are the parenting approaches and attributes that have helped with this?

A study at the University of Winchester is seeking responses on this from parents undertaking home-schooling who are asked to complete the survey.


Talk about character education at an interactive workshop aimed at educators 

Listen to Professor Bill Lucas

This was an interactive session which allowed discussion and the opportunity to ask questions to   Bill Lucas 

Here are some of the points that came up in the discussions:

Catch up on past webinars

Developing Student Creativity

Listen to the webinar 

Developing the creativity of school students has never been more important. It improves employability, enhances well-being and is needed to address the pressing problems of our Age. More than 50 countries across the world have it as an explicit part of their national curricula. 

Engineering habits of mind: what they are and how they can help us develop engineers in schools 

Listen to the recording

Listen to Professor Bill Lucas talk about character education at an interactive workshop aimed at educators.

World Creativity and Innovation Day

Click here to see the wonderful expansive range of activities organised on World Creativity and Innovation Day last week

Latest from Ellen's Blog

Expansive Notes: Covid19 is a chance to…

Staying at home has made a lot of people think. Whether about coping, finding meaning, how to best use this time, or how we might look back on this extended moment fondly, there have been no shortage of responses.

Some people find themselves with time on their hands now; others are almost literally twice as busy. There have been suggestions that we adults use this time – if we’re in the first group – to learn something new. Or perhaps this period isn’t one in which to develop new habits, but to reinstate those ones that slipped by the wayside.

Read full Blog post here

Expansive Notes: Our best reads for teachers (remote and homeschooling!)

At a time when teachers are working remotely from their pupils, and maybe even having to homeschool their own children simultaneously, many will be wondering how best to use this time and maximise its opportunities. With exams cancelled and much uncertainty, teachers can guide children and young people in ways that will make a real difference to their lives. Here are our thoughts on some ideas we have collated from around the web:

Read full Blog post here

New book Zest for Learning

Authors: Prof Bill Lucas & Dr Ellen Spencer

Zest for Learning: Developing curious learners who relish real-world challenges

Zest for Learning: connects the co-curriculum with the formal curriculum, building both theoretical and practical confidence in the kinds of pedagogies which work well. It draws together a far-reaching literature exploring zest and zest-like attributes, offering schools and organisations working with schools a model of how it could be at the heart of children’s educational experiences.

Zest for Learning: is a call to action for school leaders to broaden their horizons of what school can be and to take heart from the ideas which others are already using. It is the third book in the Pedagogy for a Changing World series, which details which capabilities matter and how schools can develop them.

Read full press release

An open letter to Nick Gibb: 5 myths about creativity

By Bill Lucas

10 March 2020

In an open letter to the Schools Minister, Bill Lucas makes a case for the teaching and assessing of creativity

Dear Mr Gibb,

Congratulations on your reappointment in the recent Cabinet reshuffle. I am a strong supporter of your view that teaching should seek to develop deep knowledge in students and, of course, that we should unremittingly seek to raise standards.

At the same time, I am a long-term advocate of the value of creativity and critical thinking in schools and in life, advising organisations across the world on this topic. 

Today, I will be meeting with other educators and policymakers from around the world, to consider how best to use research and promising practices to advance the creativity agenda globally. 

I would like to take the opportunity to wonder aloud about five myths about creativity, which have gained currency in some people’s thinking. I would love to discuss these issues with you, in the light of the opportunity the UK still has to opt into the Pisa 2021 test of creative thinking.

These myths need to be challenged consistently if we are truly to cultivate young people’s creativity across the world.

Read open letter in full

Why the UK must crank up efforts to get creativity blooming

Bill Lucas writes in TES

Education systems around the world are increasingly focused on nurturing creativity, recognising how important it is in enabling students’ potential to blossom, and developing the skills employers need.

Unless our government does the same, the UK will be left behind in the global race.

Twenty years ago, the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, which was chaired by Ken Robinson, published a seminal report. It recommended the development of a national strategy for creative and cultural education to foster the different talents of all children. This was a landmark moment, as very few education systems at that time made creativity a key part of their national curricula.

Latest from Bill's Blog

Research in Practice: Problem-based learning

Prof Bill Lucas and Dr Janet Hanson offer insights into the concept of problem-based learning as part of their work supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Comino Foundation.


The problem-based learning approach begins with a problem, which drives an inquiry process whereby learners use self-directed learning, problem-solving skills, and often group work, to identify solutions to a problem. 

Read the full blog post here

Upcoming events

16 Jun 2020 3:45 PM • Bury College, Market Street, BL9 0DB Enterprise Building Room E404
29 Jun 2020 4:15 PM • Southgate School, Sussex Way, Cockfosters, EN4 0BL
06 Jul 2020 3:45 PM • Sacred Heart R.C. Primary School & Heart Teaching School Alliance, Central Drive, Westhoughton, Bolton. BL5 3DU

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What we're reading

Inventing ourselves

The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

A compelling read which makes sense of the science and busts many of the neuromyths around today, this is a perfect book for teachers and parents. Range

Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

This is a brilliant take on expansive education, making the well-argued case that we need people who know a fair bit about a lot of things rather than individuals who get bogged down in the detail of a small number of disciplines.  

Powering up Children

The Learning Power Approach to Primary Teaching

If you are a teacher, this book will help you think about things like the learning environment you create and the language you use to develop children as learners.

15 Minute STEM

Quick, creative science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities

Great practical guide for teachers full of exciting quick activities that are easy to add into the timetable. Clear step by step instructions for creative learning in the classroom. 

The Learning Power Approach

Teaching learners to teach themselves

This book is rich with great ideas to help teachers to teach students to become expansive learners. 

Education Forward

Moving Schools into the Future

This book is an exciting 'optimistic' and 'future-focussed' movement for change trying to influence the conversation around schooling in the face of unprecedented societal and technological transformation. 



Pioneers and University Partners


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