About Us2019-04-26T13:35:26+00:00

SoCE’s Organisation

The School of Creative Education is a not-for-profit, for-purpose social enterprise, registered as a company limited by guarantee with ASIC, and registered as a charity with the ACNC.

Registered charity

Organisational model

SoCE’s Big Why

A social problem
The call for more creativity is loud.

Greater creativity and wellbeing are being called for by our social, environmental, industrial and political sectors. They are faced with ‘wicked problems’ and seek our collaborators, project workers and problem solvers.

Our children want greater creativity and wellness too … they know they are faced with problems and yearn to be our collaborators, project workers and problem solvers and our educational sector asks our schools to integrate these needs.

The problem is that, despite the call, creativity is not encultured in Australian education.

Furthermore, research shows our academic process actively disables creativity.

Knowing this, should we consciously ask, is it true? Do we really allow our schools to kill creativity? Are we choosing, consciously or otherwise, to disable our kids’ creativity?

If our answer is “yes”, can we intentionally ask, why are we doing that? What purpose will it serve? And most importantly, what can we do about it?

After all, we have a duty of care.

In the U.S.A., creative education is viewed as a children’s rights issue.
We don’t talk about that in Australia.

What we talk about is the children who struggle in education. 25% drop out. Frustrated, bored,
intelligent, questioning, rebellious, distracted, disengaged, tenacious, they slip through the cracks.

A social solution
Research shows the creative process over the academic process:
• enables creativity
• develops academic skills and knowledge
• enhances wellbeing, and
• is a natural educator.

Creativity is even predicted to create a more just society.

SoCE is not waiting for our educational sector to transform. We have opened… Australia’s first creative primary school replicable anywhere in Australia.

SoCE’s Founder

Jane Macdonald
Jane MacdonaldFounder and Director

School was a real struggle. My teachers said I was rebellious, distracted, disorganised, and unmotivated. ”She’s a bright student. If only she applied herself!” And, they were right.

I was one of those kids who needed her hands on things. Book to worksheet to memory didn’t work for me… I coudn’t remember. Tests and exams were aweful.

I wanted to say to my teachers, “Please, don’t give me a book or worksheet or formula. I won’t remember! Help me discover. I can test different problems and learn what solutions work and don’t work. Then I’ll remember things… they will mean something!”. I’m still afraid to say it… ‘chalk to talk’ bored me and led me into anxiety.

I didn’t have words for it then, but I needed a creative, inquiry-based approach. I wanted to question everything, to do projects, be self-directed and self-evaluating, collaborative and controversial. I yearned for time to retreat and reflect, and more than anything, to combine with others to do all sorts of interesting things in the real world.

By the time I was inspired enough to write a book, and design and build a house and a company, I had no clue how to go about them, and was plagued with self-doubt.

So, I undertook an action-research Masters in Sustainability and Social Change, focusing my research on the nature of creativity. It changed my life! Graduating 2016, I created my unique house, the creative education pedagogy, and wrote 48,000 words in my book called “SHiNE: the nature creativity” that develops creativity as a subject to be taught in schools.

The School of Creative Eduation is kind of like the pinnacle of all this research.

I’m not the first founder to build a primary or secondary school based upon her own schooling experiences, and it’s not a qualifying reason to build a school, but it does offer a personal empathy and motivation to all the children who need a creative approach to their education.

I’m now a creatologist… researching and teaching creativity.

P.S. My background includes fifteen years of specialist experiential education and educational consultancy, a photography business, co-creation of a new specialist school, and motherhood of two young adults and a preppie, my youngest child being my personal reason for building our creative school.

My qualifications include:

  • Masters of Sustainability and Social Change (creativity), Oases Graduate School
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies (curriculum development), Melbourne University
  • Graduate Diploma of Integrative and Transformative Studies, Oases Graduate School
  • Graduate Diploma of Education (special education), Deakin University
  • Diploma of Professional Photography, International College of Professional Photography
  • Diploma of Teaching (creative arts), Australian Catholic University
  • Certificate IV Small Business Management, Mission Australia

Growth and projections

Growth

In 2015, Jane launched the School of Cultural Creativity by creating a Facebook business page with information about the project including why and how SoCC was being created, looking to see if there may be some interest in the local community.

In March 2016, Jane created SoCC’s website with much more information about the new school project, and expressions of interest for Farm School, The Tribe and the Maxwell primary school were invited.

Since then, our growth has been paced and awesome:
• 2000+ likes on Facebook, and
• 800+ subscribers to our newsletter.

2015: 7 children in Farm Preschool, one group a week
2016: 15 children in Farm Preschool, one group a week
2017: 32 children in Farm Preschool, two groups a week
17 children in The Tribe, one group a week
2018: 36 children in Farm Preschool, three groups a week
21 children in The Tribe, one group a week.

Projections

In April 2018, the board and committee changed the name of the organisation to the School of Creative Education.

Farm Preschool 
2019: 36 children in Farm Preschool, two groups per week
2020: 54 children in Farm Preschool, three groups per week
2021: 90 children in Farm Preschool, four groups per week

Maxwell Creative primary and secondary School
Our intention is to grow up with the children who form the older cohort of the Maxwell Creative School, applying to register their secondary school for years 7 and 8 to open 2020.

During 2020 we will apply to register years 9 and 10 for 2021, and during 2021 apply to register for years 11 and 12 for 2022.

2019: 20 children in primary school at the beginning of the year.
2020: 30 children in primary school
20 children in year 7 – 8 secondary school
2021: 45 children in primary school
40 children in year 7 – 10 secondary school
2022: 60 children in primary school
60 children in years 7 – 12 secondary school
2023: 75 children in primary school
75 children in years 7 – 12 secondary school

Farm Preschool projections
School of Creative Education secondary school projections
Maxwell primary school projections
The Tribe projections

SoCE’s Dedication

The primary school is dedicated to Mrs Maxwell. Jane will write about her as she permits. These are her words…

The Creative School

We are a non-hierarchical school: students and teachers learning together. Each person has something valuable to impart to others; thus respectful relationships are the basis of all interaction. Certainly we have different revelations to impart, but we deem them all valuable- what a child reveals and what a teacher reveals, both open the mind and heart to a new perspective.

Our ideal is to look with wonder at each human being comprising our school’s population.

Learning is a respectful, mutual experience. It requires deep listening by students and teachers to each other, to the environment, to history, and to the gifts of inspiration which come from each. We cherish each person involved in the school as a human being with the potential to open the wonders of learning.

Our hope is that students, as well as everyone involved in the school, will carry the attitudes of mutual respect into society, helping support a culture of non-violence and openness to individual difference. A culture where co-operation brings out the best in each person.

The ethics of our school are like seeds of life-long education, flowering into open minds and hearts.

Of course we will follow a syllabus which covers the range of core subjects expected in the primary school. However, these subjects can be tackled from various angles, encompassing the various ways we human beings explore our thirst for knowledge. By beginning with the quest for understanding, all regular school subjects can be embraced. It certainly takes imagination to learn and teach in this way. The paramount path we will keep before us is an attitude of genuine co-operation in the search for understanding life in our world.