Thursday, 23 April 2015

How can OPENING up our school to visitors help us learn and grow ?

Our very first visitors to our open, engaging learning spaces (ELS's) have been and gone.
But that's not where the learning stops.
Having a growth mind set attitude means actively reflecting on events through a learning lens. This helps to reveal the underlying new learning that can stimulate and strengthen our capacity for further growth.
Before our visitors went and explored our ELS's, they were asked to record at least one thing that they hoped to learn from the visit. 

These 'wonderings'  were incorporated into a google document that was shared with our staff. Our staff actively reflected on their own learning by contributing their responses to this informative document (see screenshotsbelow). The very process of  having to articulate responses connected to our ELS's in relation to specific questions from our visitors was an authentic, reflective learning opportunity for our staff.
Similarly, through our visitors questioning our children, our children had to authentically articulate their learning processes. Immediately this brings to mind, the potential challenge for some of our children to prepare a purposeful learning project that captures the essence of our ELS's in a succinct presentation for future visitors. I will follow this up before our next visitors are due in a couple of week's time.
Our ELS's are not only engaging learning spaces for our children but they are engaging for our adult learners too. Teachers and children have designed them together. They are still evolving and changing in response to individual and group learning needs. The ELS's are a living school wide inquiry that is constantly adjusting and developing to include and respond to learning and growth for the whole school community. Such visits that generate rich discussions for students and staff can only contribute positively to our open, growth mindset community. Providing opportunities for students and parents from other schools to be included in such visits could be the magical key to unlocking the door to future authentic growth and change across the educational sector.
Thinking about the future ? A thought provoking article in Mind Shift by author David Price is well worth a read What will education look like in our more open future ?

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