Wednesday, 31 December 2008
A lot of the time in school I think it's taken for granted that what you're learning is concrete and that what you are taught is what you should know, but being creative in the classroom lets students take information and think about it in their own way as well just learning the facts.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young people in rural India worked out how to use a PC on their own and then taught other young people. He asks, what else can children teach themselves? His view is that education is a self-organising system and, in the absence of formal education, young people will work out a way to educate themselves and each other. He refers to this process as Minimally Invasive Education:
MIE uses children's natural curiosity and focuses on providing an enabling environment where they can learn on their own. Children, in the process of freely experimenting with the Learning Station, pick up critical problem solving skills. It also provides a collaborative setting where children can share their knowledge and in the process, develop better group dynamics, all in a highly natural environment.
MIE's uniqueness is its ability to attract children towards the Learning Station driven purely by their own interests. Conventional pedagogy, on the other hand, focuses on the teacher's ability to disseminate information in a classroom setting. MIE thus complements the formal schooling system by providing a much needed balance for a child to learn on her own and provides for a holistic learning experience.
How might this approach apply to the kinds of learning experiences we provide at Tallis?
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Thursday, 18 December 2008
- a feast for parents, school leaders and members if the local community
- stimulation for all the senses
- opportunities for discussion about creative learning
- games and other forms of interactivity
- VJ projections
- set design and lighting
If I've left anything out or forgotten to include a vital ingredient which we have already discussed, please feel free to add a comment.
We agreed at the meeting that everyone in the group would create a new post to the blog about some aspect of creative learning over the Christmas holidays. I would just like to thank everyone in the group for your hard work and dedication to the course this term and to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a highly creative New Year.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
In the wake of the new Key Stage 3 national curriculum and the Building Schools for the Future programme, not to mention the success of the RSA's Opening Minds, there's a lot of talk about new models for curriculum delivery. What is the most effective way of structuring learning in a school? Should schools question the effectiveness of delivering learning in discrete subjects despite the fact that they are still enshrined in the national curriculum? Is ICT a subject or a set of skills and competencies? How do schools restructure their timetables to facilitate personalised learning?
- Teachers trained to be more effective facilitators of learning
- Students encouraged to develop personalised responses to demonstrate their learning
- More active learning and learning through discovery
- Better experiences with ICT of all kinds plus properly equipped and stimulating learning spaces
- A more flexible curriculum, longer, deeper learning experiences and time to take risks
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Following a conversation I had with a colleague in a West London school today I did a quick search for music programmes in Harlem, New York City. I came across Opus 118 and was struck by their vision for putting music making at the heart of the curriculum:
Learning a musical instrument is a unique way of exposing children to beauty.
- Music education is a prime tool to awaken creativity and to teach concentration and focus.
- Focused study of a musical instrument affects a student’s academic performance in other subject areas in a positive way.
- Structured musical activities for students during the non-school hours are a means of preventing violence and drug abuse.
- Music is an instrument of peace, allowing students an emotional release in a time of social conflict and stress while teaching tolerance in a diverse community.
- In preparing young minds for a complex world, music education serves not only as a means to teach collaboration and cooperation, but also as a guide in solving complex problems.
- Music education creates and expands horizons for children who would otherwise lack the opportunity to experience the benefits that are derived from such an education.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
We have been the lucky recipients of the model for Helen Storey's Amygdala installation at Tallis. It now has pride of place in the school library. We decided this year, as part of a cross-curricular arts project on "Identity", to use the book as inspiration for an activity with our current Year 7 students designed to encourage them to reflect on a time when their amygdalas were probably working overtime - the transition from Year 6 to Year 7. We have published these responses as an interactive online book using the fantastic Issuu.