Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Redesigning Learning

The redesign of learning spaces is linked to rethinking and redesigning schools. This clip from, System Redesign - How to Transform Your School is an excellent resource for opening up the thinking and conversations about redesigning the system of schooling. I'd be interested in others responses to the clip.

There has for a long time been a sense that there is a lack of congruence between school buildings/learning spaces, teachers/teaching and learners/learning.

A former colleague and mentor of mine, Kate Clancy (an outstanding educator and now Principal of Santa Sabina College, Strathfield, Australia) has, for many years, described this problem as learning taking place in 19th Century schools, with 20th Century teachers and 21st Century learners.

The video clip is a nice synthesis of some of the current thinking around redesigning. It draws upon some recent work from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, an organisation I was fortunate enough to visit in 2006 to examine innovation. iNet is the international network that evolved from SSAT. It connects nicely with the concept of Next Practice – an area I am particularly interested in exploring further with schools.

What if … ? questions can open up thinking beyond current practice and shape new practices.

I was recently in a school that has established a strong working partnership at the leadership level with it’s neighbouring primary schools and the secondary school. The possibilities are endless for redesigning learning by exploring some of the "What ifs?".

What if …
  • There was shared leadership across the schools to improve numeracy for all students
  • Stage 3 and Stage 4 teachers worked together to address transition in investigating, planning, implementing and evaluating programmes
  • Teaching expertise were shared within and between the schools and was made available to other teachers and to the students
  • The network of neighbouring schools saw themselves as a learning precinct with shared responsibilities to the communities they served.
The list could go on!

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