Saturday, 09 September 2017 10:51

Why Chiron Plus

Patrick White2

 In 1968 we were three very young teachers working with students who were supposed to be developing as young adults. But their development, we observed, was being hindered by the traditional authoritarian system of education.

We wanted to create a better learning environment where young people could develop as responsible and self determining individuals.

In 1969 we did.  Supported by Metropolitan Business College (a major private education provider before the government Technical Colleges) Chiron College was created.

It wasn't based on any existing models or philiosophies. We weren't aware of the progressive movements in the 1920s and 30s. It was simply based on our own observations and awareness of the need for change;  change valuing the innate good qualities of young people.  We often said we wouldn’t really know how successful our approach was until students in later life could look back and evaluate their experience.

The first newspaper article about the college appeared in November 1969 that year. It ends with the comment made by Professor John Loewenthal from Sydney University “If you achieve what you set out to do, and I feel that you should, the you will be filling a huge gap in educational institutions in New South Wales” Sunday Telegraph November 1969.

Over the following 7 years positive coverage continued in Newspapers, Magazines and on Television, and we were invited to give talks on innovation in education at Universities and Colleges in Sydney.

Like most progressive schools Chiron didn't survive the return to conservatism by the 1980s. And the stories of only a few of these progressive schools have yet been been told.

However in 2010 browsing on Facebook I came across the Chiron College Birchgrove group. Here after almost 40 years the time to hear what students had to say about their experience had arrived.

Their comments (currently being uploaded onto this site) reveal first and foremost their individuality. Their experience at Chiron had enabled them be themselves and make their own choices.

Why Chiron Plus ?

Around the same time there was growing advocacy for a new system of education with new core values.

Values like those on which Chiron and Others were developed.

ChironPlus provides an Opportunity for more Australian Experiences to be Shared

Voices Supporting Advocacy for Positive Change Today

Published in Why Chiron
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