Transformational Learning

Just watched this interview with Esme Capp a school principal from Melbourne, whose successful implementation of a collaborative, ‘negotiated’ curriculum has reflected 21st Century learning needs of the children in her school.

By developing a strong school ethos centered around 21st Century children and their developing learning needs, alongside a strong belief in theories of collaborative learning, the principal generated a new curriculum based around key themes, rather thatn key subject areas. Through project based work focused on these key themes, the children’s ‘traditional’ curriculum skills are assessed, working from where the child is, not where the curriculum is.

Dissonance between home and school practice has been widely discussed (Lankshear and Knobel, 2003; Carrington, 2005; Merchant, 2007), however this 21st Century approach to learning views children’s learning development across domains, recognising the home-based learning in school and working closely with parents in tracking their child’s progress.

Children co-create a learning journey at the start of each week with their teachers, before starting their projects. Individual passions and interests are allowed for in the avenue each project takes. Through conferencing, workshops and target teaching the children move through their planned journey and are encouraged to be self-aware of their learning.

In the summary of the DCSF report ‘Your child, your schools, our future’ (2009) the need for children to be able to ‘learn and re-train, think and work in teams and to be flexible, adaptable and creative’ alongside developing ‘responsibility for themselves, for their health, for their environment, and for their society’ is highlighted as incredibly important as the jobs of the future are predicted to leave little room for those with little or no skills. This transformational learning environment will allow for such skills to be acquired.

This ‘negotiated’ curriculum clearly then, can allow for the personalisation of learning and takes into account learning as being socially constructed, as well as the key themes and skills needed for children in today’s social climate.

Will this be the future for all schools?

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