Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Implementing a powerful Learning Community

Dean Groom from Parramatta Marist High School in Australia makes some very salient points in his recent post on kicking off a learning community. Firstly that we have to forget the tools and the buzz words with the kids...... don't introduce blogging, just start a reflective writing project where people will feel free to write, and others will feel free to comment. I very much agree with Dean in getting away from our over use of the names of the latest whizzy tool, I believe that this puts off the less intrepid teacher who would have a go if we were less tool led (I will get down off my soapbox now!)
Secondly, Dean as many of us believe that you have to grow this collaboration it cannot be imposed in a false way, it has to be organic using the medium that your pupils find most relevant to their voice, also don't be afraid to scaffold the learning along the way, and also to use issues which arise as 'learning opportunities' not as so often happens, as a means of curtailing discussion and as a result the whole learning experience for the pupils. I found as well that if this process is given time to grow it will take firmer root in our pupils psyche and will just become the NORM and you will have a growing community whole will act as advocates for this method of learning. All of which brings me back to Dean's excellent presentation below. Thank you for sharing this piece Dean. Learn more about Dean's work on Project Based Learning (PBL) here (courtesy of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach)

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