Sunday, April 10, 2011
Future Learning Spaces - The benefits
We have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting throughout the term to surface what are some of the added bonuses of having more open, fluid and social learning spaces. There have been many positives, however one that was not necessarily realised as being so powerful was the incidental professional learning that occurs within the space that two or three teachers reside in. The daily ongoing professional learning is becoming more apparent as the learning is so visible throughout the space. One teacher might be a support teacher in a learning session and one taking more of a lead role the bouncing off one another is wonderful to watch. Teachers are openly learning from one another as they for example watch how a shared book is introduced or observe their peers questioning. It is a powerful learning environment for not only the students but the teachers themselves.
Another positive bubbling up from working within more open and agile spaces is this notion of 'they've got my back'. Teachers say they feel more supported in the space as there is always another adult if needed. Be it an individual who needs that little extra one on one learning time or an individual you can't quite get to the bottom of a learning need, there is a community approach to inquiring into what the individuals next steps might be.
Pooling teacher strengths and talents is another positive - in a space students get the best of both worlds as they are taught be any of the two or three teachers in the learning hub in a given day.
There are some key structures and scaffolds that sit behind the design of the learning hubs to ensure their success. More about that next time.