Addressing Contemporary Learning
As Principal I dream of a school where:
- learning will be celebrated, where there will be laughter and loving, where there will be songs and dancing, where all people will celebrate the joy of living and learning.
- anything can happen through discovery and the beauty of ordered learning will be open to innovation and spontaneity.
- straight rows of desks will give way to a circle or group of learners and everyone will be welcomed to join the circle so that seeing one another we shall see that there are other ways to learn.
- children are recognised as thinkers, feelers and doers, where risks can be taken and mistakes and successes celebrated and built on and whole people are educated.
- what I read in the gospels comes alive in our life together and where each individual will be accepted and valued for who they are and for their own individual gifts and talents.
And so to respond to this dream we must……
- utilize the physical environment as a resource for empowering learners. Facilitate the environment and organisation of the classroom to build powerful student learning.
- encourage teachers to be team members and learn from each other through sharing of strategies and ideas and joint curriculum design as opposed to working behind closed doors.
- ensure that children are experiencing real learning and not just “completing” tasks.
- ensure students’ writing is improved by encouraging deeper thinking. Writers need to think deeply and plan their writing.
- promote active listening. We must encourage students to think while they are listening.
- promote social contexts where learning can flourish.
- promote the various facets of inquiry learning, differentiated curriculum and individualised learning to allow learners to proceed at their own pace and have ownership of their learning. This will increase engagement and outcomes for students and allow recognition of the diversity of student talents in keeping with our vision.
- ensure the consent of the learner in the learning process. Without this consent learning is inhibited.
- as teachers, define the learning process and thereby be in a position to facilitate deep learning for children.
- teach children as learners to reflect on the learning process and share this reflection with their co-learners and teachers.
Mick O’Brien – Principal