Rewriting school…

Learning is a story…

It’s a story filled with dialogue… conversation between teachers and students, collaboration between learners, questions and answers, discussion and debate. It’s a mystery, a fantasy, an adventure story. Every learner focuses on a different aspect of the story and makes it real for himself. Every learner reads it in her own way and has her own interpretation. Some find it challenging and struggle to understand it. Others are thrilled by its complexity and constantly seeking to uncover new layers. Some question the story, some accept it and others reinvent it. Learners might re-tell the story, illustrate it, photograph it, digitise it, dramatise it or set it to music. Some will share the story and others will keep it to themselves. Some will take it with them, keep it in their hearts and minds and never let it go.

If you’re lucky, your school story can be beautifully written. It can have an enticing opening that hooks you in and makes you want to come back for more, a fascinating plot that unfolds enticingly, peopled with wonderful characters who invite you in, and a rewarding ending that leaves you wanting to continue learning forever.

Or it might be the disappointing kind of story whose content is presented in an uninteresting way, with disconnected sections that don’t gel together, boring characters and an unappealing plot. It might be the kind of story that you have to force yourself to finish, or perhaps even abandon before the end.


Why leave it to chance?

Let’s  look at our schools and our classes and see if we need to rewrite their stories. Let’s ensure that each learner can read the story in any way that suits her. Let’s encourage every learner to write his own version of the story. Let’s make sure that the story connects meaningfully with their life stories.

Learning is a story. If it draws you in, it’s a story that has no end…


7 thoughts on “Rewriting school…

  1. If only we could have our public schools function this way. Too many students are not in school to learn, they are there to be social or trying to forget their home life. Many do not even desire to be there at all, but are made to be there because it is the law. Too many disruptions in the classroom by students and their problems to get the required curriculum taught. I feel so sorry for the students who are there to learn… I wish there was a way that our society would go back to the respect it had for education, school and teachers. There was a day when teachers were believed and highly respected.


  2. What a creative way to talk about education and change! For me, it brings about the following questions about our education system(s):
    1. In a book store, there are a number of different sections. There isn’t one section that every reader likes, is there? Yet, we deliver a school system for all our students and tell them they need all “these courses” to graduate. Isn’t this like telling a reader to read a set of books from every section of their favourite bookstore, and like all the products, and be able to score well in their bookclub? Of course there are some that like products from all the sections of the bookstore but I’ll bet its a pretty small number. This leads me to the personalized learning model that has got some speed in educational circles, and I am all for it.
    2. Is it in the student’s best interest, or adult’s, to group students in to grades and subjects? There are so many of them that they are grouped with others that do not learn at the same rate and are interested in a huge variety of different things, yet they are all supposed to learn the same core subjects and are evaluated by the same assessment system. And today, the wide-spread assessment system that reports by letter grades/percentages/GPA’s is being questioned in almost every educational discussion circle. Are the systems (educational grouping and assessment) the ‘stories that need to be rewritten’ for you (my fellow educators)? Are there others?


  3. Loved the post but challenged by the open-endedness of teaching after over 30 years at the helm. That in itself is all at once exciting, thought- provoking and somewhat terrifying! Once there was certainty and a surety of direction. Now I’m lying awake not dreading the return date but working out how I can reinvent myself again to be that teacher who really made a difference!!!


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