I’ve been in education longer than many of you have been alive. School has changed in so many ways… and stayed the same.
At Learning2 in Manila last year, I chose the Disrupt Strand, working with a team of educators to pitch an idea that could disrupt the traditional model of school. If you count where we were born and where we work now, we are from 5 continents and ten countries. Yet we share frustrations about the limitations of school… and dreams about how learning could be.
We looked at each other and wondered… Why shouldn’t students have opportunities like this conference? Opportunities to experience learning that is not confined to your usual space, not imposed on you from above, not defined by age group or limited by subject area? Our pitch: Why can’t school be Learning 2?
Our first step was to create a similar kind of experience for our own teachers. We called it Unleashing Learning... and it did!
These were some of the big ideas participants took away:
- How to make sure that my learning as well as the children’s learning is constantly challenged and unleashed.
- Provoking children’s thinking (and my own).
- The value of international connections to unleash learning.
- Creating the conditions for student-created learning to thrive.
- The importance of student agency.
- The power of simplicity.
- Finding the balance between teaching and learning.
- Students at the centre of their own learning.
- Leaving better kids for our planet, rather than a better planet for our kids.
- Emotional wellbeing of teachers and students.
- Kids doing interesting things that tick the boxes of the curriculum.
- Fostering a sense of responsibility for learning through meaningful engagement.
The conference provided time to relate, to debate and to create. Opportunities for reflection and for introspection. We inquired and we were inspired…
Teachers’ highlights included:
- The 5 minute unleashing learning talks, in which teachers and students shared their learning stories and inspirational messages.
- The opportunity to choose something that interested them from a wide range of workshops.
- Having thinking extended in so many ways.
- Time and opportunities to discuss new ideas with different people.
- Learning with people from outside our school, especially those previously known from Twitter.
Something to think about…
- How do we unleash learning in our schools?
- What’s one change you’re going to make?
- If WE don’t change schools, who will?