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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Designs on Learning (3) - Re-thinking the learning process

I came across this YouTube clip from the Ordrup School in Gentofte, Denmark. In the clip the Chairman of the School Board reflects on the fact that the school was a product of the old society, in which classrooms where seen to be production units where teachers pushed the knowledge and wisdom out to the students. The school redesigned the learning spaces to support an approach to learning that reflects a contemporary society and how we young people engage in that society.
The challenge is to first rethink the learning process and the consequent design of the learning spaces.

Rethinking the Learning Process
Recently I was visiting a school where the principal and his leadership team were keen to explore what is possible for the learning spaces and for learning.
The conversation covered a wide area of thinking. Three key things seemed to emerge:

  1. Personalising the learning for students
  2. Ensuring deep learning
  3. Teacher learning to support innovation and transformation of practice to personalise the learning for deep learning.

The school was left with an interesting challenge through which to explore key concepts and to engage students, staff and the broader community. The challenge was to explore what might be possible.

What might schools look like if they didn't look like traditional schools?

What would learning look like if it didn't look like it presently does?

How might students respond to this?

What might they design?


Gary Borg said...

I like the succint statement by the school you were working with (even though its a lifetimes work!) Thats been the challenge at JohnXXIII to have a framework or a set of very clear principles to use as a filter to make instructional and 'learning space' decisions. Would like to hear more about how the use of the learning space and pedagogy go together. Cheers

Mark Walker said...

New flexible learning spaces in my experience need us all to learn new norms of working, greater levels of collaborative skills and explicit teaching skills in order to achieve this personalisation and de-privatising of our practice. I got something out of the clip which I will share with the leadership team - one comment is the amount of space per child is fantastic.

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