Visiting a school with a learning centre

August 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

A team of nine teachers from my school visited Mordialloc College in Melbourne last week.

Our objective was to investigate the teaching and learning methods that they have been using and then to see which aspects would be applicable in our school.

The Year 7 students of Mordialloc were all located in the school’s ‘Learning Centre’. It was a large, colourful warehouse where 130 students took part in a student directed learning program where teachers were facilitating learning in a variety of areas.  A student would decide on a particular area of study and then the facilitator would guide them in how they could meet the set learning outcomes. One particular student wanted to complete an assessment task on skate boarding. His guide was able to point to the history, geography, mathematics and science outcomes that the student could use as he devised the task.

The students were trained in the 4 levels of self help. This meant that during a learning experience the students had the skills to deal with ‘getting stuck’. Each student was also trained in how to plan out their learning for the week and how to re plan if there were changes with their schedule. It really was amazing.

The highlights from this school visit were:

– How excited and positive the students were about their learning;

– How the school had researched and developed their pedagogy to ensure that all students were given the tools to learn;

– How the school had designed spaces that aid student learning.

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I asked myself the following questions after our visit.

How are you using learning spaces to aid student learning? You really should read this.

Are your students equipped with the 4 levels of self help?

Are you constantly researching pedagogy so that you are better informed to enhance student learning?

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