A Headmaster’s View on the Next Generation of Education – Alan Stevens

This article is a part of Discere’s ‘Insights with Experts’ series, where Discere co-founders Joao and Shyam interview professionals across various industries. Read more here. Who? It was Ireland’s oldest school; Royal School Dungannon, where Mr Stevens was first educated. From here he followed his passion for History to study at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he … Continue reading “A Headmaster’s View on the Next Generation of Education – Alan Stevens”

This article is a part of Discere’s ‘Insights with Experts’ series, where Discere co-founders Joao and Shyam interview professionals across various industries. Read more here.

Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh Insights With Experts

Welcome back to Insights with Experts!  We are kicking off season 3 with exciting new updates to the podcast. In today's episode, our CEO, Shyam is joined by a co host, Noah Tracey!   In this episode, Shyam and Noah are joined by Thomas Walsh, and expert in investments, startups and mentoring.    Socials!  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insights.with.experts/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/insights-with-experts/   TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@insights.with.experts Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwexperts 
  1. Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh
  2. Piece Of Advice For New STARTUP Founders! Ken Mocabee
  3. Do you think it's luck?
  4. Are you crazy enough to fail? Leeor Groen – Blockchain Valley Ventures
  5. Emre Buyukkilic on how Gen Z is influencing the future!

Who?

It was Ireland’s oldest school; Royal School Dungannon, where Mr Stevens was first educated. From here he followed his passion for History to study at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he achieved a First Class degree. His first role as an educator was seen through Campbell College, where he became a housemaster and the Head of History. Before embarking on the next stage of his career at Trent College in England as Head of Main School, Mr Stevens completed a period of research at Yale University and gained an MA in Educational Management and Leadership. In 2010, he was then appointed Headmaster of Barnard Castle School in 2010. Followed by this is his current appointment as Headmaster of Marlborough College Malaysia. Outside of his role as an educator, Mr Stevens was commissioned in the UK reserve forces and acts as an inspector with the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

A Quick Summary

Best put by Mr. Stevens, inspiration is the catalyst to pursuing your interests. The feeling we get when something enlightens us and leaves us challenged is what moves us forward. While a passionate historian, Mr Stevens admits to not liking all the topics he studied, and what we learnt is that there is an element of naturality to this. His interests were leaned over to the study of historiography; the study of the practice of history. In addition to historical content, specific figures during his youth such as his history teacher would go on to ‘genuinely inspire’ Mr Stevens. Highlighting the extent to which educational figures can impact our lives.

While Mr Steven’s journey was one that was evidently enjoyed. It did not come without the presence of a challenge. The most prominent of which was time. Time builds a sense of pressure that forces us to make specific choices and possibly even sacrifice elements of our lives for more strategic matters. Mr Stevens witnessed his passion for teaching history erode with the fact that he has to take on headmaster commitments. However, as seen from Mr Stevens experiences, we grow at the hands of  a challenge. This was seen through his substitution of teaching with events such as working with prefects, observing teachers in action, lectern clubs, etc. 

In addition to time, our personality traits can often clash with the roles we are expected to fulfill. As many of us might as well, Mr Stevens considers himself an introvert. A characteristic that often contrasts with the confident and public role of a leader. However, as resilient people, we must stretch ourselves and aim to get better in the areas we are less confident in. But while qualities such as public speaking often compose successful leaders, Mr Stevens would argue that the core quality of a leader lies in their philosophy, integrity and thought as he referred to Barack Obama as a celebrated example. Furthermore, when taken into the perspective of a team, a dangerous composition can often be surrounding yourself with clones, differences should be acknowledged and embraced. 

In recent years, that has been an increased realisation for the need to incorporate softs skills and emotional intelligence into our schooling curriculums. Mr Stevens acknowledges the prevalence of exam focused teaching systems, especially in the APAC region of the world. While he is an educator, he is also an employer. Mr Stevens values the need for empathy, communication, flexibility as well as other soft skills when looking for people to join his work teams. Acknowledging the importance of these skills, he integrates them into teaching the students in his school. However, how that is executed is a different story. Mr Stevens compares teaching emotional intelligence to teaching swimming, in the sense that it cannot be done in a classroom but instead a pool. Suggesting that if we aim to develop these skills, students must be taught through experience and action. This is seen through pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, immersing ourselves in new communities among other emotionally developing activities. 

Another academic realisation emerging is the preparation for uncertainty. Change has been exponential, and we should be educating our students in accordance to this coming change. While technology and math compose the majority of this new era, Mr Stevens would argue that education is about discovering your potential and passion. Referring to Jack Ma, education should be about teaching students what machines can’t do, skills that involve emotional intelligence. This would entail maintaining the importance of breath in learning. As a macro view, Mr Stevens referred to two main components to this learning; problem solving over memory testing and being open to inspiration.   

To conclude our interview, Mr Stevens left us with a valuable piece of advice; “don’t do what is expected of you”. By this he suggested that we should not feel pressured to do things that don’t necessarily inspire us. The weight of expectation is often what limits us and we should escape this by giving ourselves room to flourish and embrace the unexpected. 

Don’t just do what’s expected of you, embrace the unexpected, explore what’s possible and give yourself permission to flourish

Alan Stevens

Marlborough College Malaysia is a prestigious British boarding school located in Johor, Malaysia; learn more here.

The Role of Sport in Student Development – Jip Bartels

This article is a part of Discere’s ‘Insights with Experts’ series, where Discere co-founders Joao and Shyam interview professionals across various industries. Read more here. Who? In this episode, we’ve been lucky enough to connect with Jip Bartels, currently 27, who is a former Ajax footballer, sporting coach, and Director of Montessori Sports in Australia. Originally … Continue reading “The Role of Sport in Student Development – Jip Bartels”

This article is a part of Discere’s ‘Insights with Experts’ series, where Discere co-founders Joao and Shyam interview professionals across various industries. Read more here.

Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh Insights With Experts

Welcome back to Insights with Experts!  We are kicking off season 3 with exciting new updates to the podcast. In today's episode, our CEO, Shyam is joined by a co host, Noah Tracey!   In this episode, Shyam and Noah are joined by Thomas Walsh, and expert in investments, startups and mentoring.    Socials!  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insights.with.experts/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/insights-with-experts/   TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@insights.with.experts Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwexperts 
  1. Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh
  2. Piece Of Advice For New STARTUP Founders! Ken Mocabee
  3. Do you think it's luck?
  4. Are you crazy enough to fail? Leeor Groen – Blockchain Valley Ventures
  5. Emre Buyukkilic on how Gen Z is influencing the future!

Who?

In this episode, we’ve been lucky enough to connect with Jip Bartels, currently 27, who is a former Ajax footballer, sporting coach, and Director of Montessori Sports in Australia. Originally from Holland, Jip had his sights on football from a very young age, however, it was during his AFC Ajax days that he experienced three crucial ACL injuries, that would change the course of his life. Shortly after the decision to stop playing professional football, he began to focus on his studies and got a Bachelor of Administration – and Organisation Sciences in combination with the Honours Programme at the VU University Amsterdam. After successful graduation, Jip was awarded the Student Talent of the year award. After finishing his Master Business Administration at the University of Amsterdam in 2017, Jip embarked to Melbourne in 2018 to play in the NPL and pursue his goal of re-shaping the way child-development is viewed through starting Montessori Sports. Outside of his work life, Jip enjoys volunteering in his community through organisations such as On My Feet; a channel to help the homeless population of Australia reach self-sufficiency.

A Quick Summary

When faced with a challenge, we often have two choices. Either, we let it overcome us or we can emerge stronger from the experience. When Jip Bartels faced life-changing injuries that deferred him from his promising football career, it was clear which path he took. While football has had a significant impact on his past, he has been using the skills he developed to pursue following experiences. Specifically stating that it helped him cope with the unpredictability of life and ‘control the controllable’. Evidently showing that sport is a tool which has invaluable benefits across all walks of life. Jip has channeled his passion for physical education through Montessori Sports where he aims to build the presence of sport in child development curriculums.  

As someone who has taken on the stance of both a player and coach. He has built a perspective on the recipe for success. As he put it, success revolves around not only ‘working hard’, but what stimulates a person to work hard. Coming down to two concepts, he views independence and intrinsic motivation as key factors. The best players have taken on a love for independent learning and finding new challenges. However, coaches have just as important a role to play. Judging players on short term success can inhibit long term motivation.

While coaching is his forte, another skill Jip is accustomed to is managing a series of tasks simultaneously. While running a business, Jip finds time to play in the NPL, individually mentor children, and volunteer with various organisations. As students, we often feel a weight of pressure when it comes to managing tasks in an academic environment. It was reported that students in today’s schooling systems show higher levels of stress than psychiatric patients in the 1950s. Jip’s philosophy revolves around finding a purpose to your tasks, as he stated, we need to start with ‘why’. What does this look like? Finding your passion and breaking it down into something you can do every day in a purposeful sense. 

As we concluded our interview, Jip left us with a memorable piece of advice; immerse yourself in opinions you disagree with. Other than suppressing our own opinions, we should be open-minded to learning about others. As he put it, “if we all stay in our bubble where it’s safe and known, we are not going to change much”.

“If we all stay in our bubble where it’s safe and known, we are not going to change much

Jip Bartels

Montessori Sport’s brings a re-defined vision to child development. If you would like to learn more about the exciting things happening at the company, be sure to check out their website.  

Want to get in touch with Jip? Contact him via social media or visit his website.

If you’d like to recommend us an expert to interview, or have any questions, suggestions or feedback in any shape or form, feel free to send us an email:

experts@discere.org