I am enjoying the intensifying interest in the 'value-added' impact of innovative learning spaces on learning, particularly now that my school is about to embark on a major refurbishment project. When attending an 'Innovative Learning Spaces and Pedagogy' conference recently, the distinct 'wow' factor presented in many of the school designs is indicative of the … Continue reading The Tension Between Learning Spaces and Learning
We host many visits from teachers, parents, leadership teams, principals and system leaders from interstate and internationally, throughout each year. Our usual process includes an Experience Tour in which visitors can 'see' and 'feel' learning within all learning (student, teacher, and leadership) spaces. This is then unpacked as a group with an opportunity for the … Continue reading What Does Organic Learning Look Like in the Classroom From a Student’s Perspective?
We have written a fair bit about the importance of moving away from a 'top-down' accountability mindset to one that is more focused on building internal accountability. It is our belief that where there is greater internal accountability, there will be less need for external accountability. One of the difficulties with this is that many … Continue reading Development of Internal Accountability Begins with the Students
The employment of staff can make or break a school. The wrong person, whether it be a teacher or leader, can have a massive, negative impact on learning and school culture. An adjustment in mindset can help you get it right when it comes to employment. Generally, when employing we tend to focus on filling a … Continue reading Changing Employment Mindset: Employ People Who Are Better Than You
It is bewildering that education systems still exist within a structure created for a paradigm that has long outlived its 'due by date'. Educators continue to refine the creative art of teaching, but at the end of the day are constrained by the same claustrophobic structures borne out of a manufacturing mindset. One of the … Continue reading Exploring the Removal of Silos in Education
Teaching personnel have always spent many hours designing learning for those in their care. Most of the time they hit the mark. Unfortunately, other times they do not. This is ok because FAILing is always a First Attempt In Learning, as long as there is development, and we encourage this through valid risk-taking. With an … Continue reading Rigorous Alignment to Enhance Retained Learning – Landing the Plane
Some may assume that our Organic Learning Cycle is another version of an inquiry model. The truth is that it is purely a 'learning model'. Indeed the cycle is designed to help pose, find and solve problems in an inquiry sense, but the model just as brilliantly aligns itself with explicit/guided instruction, and in particular, … Continue reading Successful Literacy/Numeracy Instruction using Organic Learning
There are so many structures and processes in schools today that directly connect us to the old 'factory model' of education. Even with the construction of new schools, the model is still pretty much the same. There are some innovative practices in flexible learning spaces and methodologies for individualising learning, but our schools are still fundamentally … Continue reading It’s Time for Education to Let Go of its Autocratic Accountability Mindset
Innovation is a highly prized ingredient in any high performing school system. I find it interesting then, when government and/or school systems mandate school participation in 'innovation projects' and expect a significant impact on school-wide learning. Contrary to this approach is the idea of ground up innovation, where innovation occurs naturally based on an observed need … Continue reading WeLearn: By Teachers for Teachers (An Organic, Ground Up Innovation)
I have not collected any hard data on this as yet, but since implementing Organic Learning across our school it is becoming increasingly obvious that our students are in fact more inquisitive. Is this as a result of Organic Learning or something else? There are a number of contributing factors to consider in this observed growth in curiosity. Firstly, as part of our … Continue reading Do Inquisitive Teachers have more Inquisitive Students?