We took on the chapter from Guy Claxton’s book: What’s the Point in School?
Is it possible to turn a real school into a Learning Gymnasium or an Exploratory? Can we reform what we do so that it makes a genuine, and not just cosmetic, difference to students’ experience? Can we engage energy and enthusiasm of busy teachers, in the face of all the challenges and limitations that schools face
Risk taking and losing control is hard. Do we often rely on traditional models in order to feel more comfortable? Is this why change is slow? Claxton’s ideas on reform are utopian in my context, but the ideas have ramifications for every classroom regardless where the wider school sits. Evaluating how relevant the learning is, and how relevant the learning experiences are to the students’ lives is never a bad idea. I think the idea of exploratory learning comes very close to that of inquiry learning, and the cosmetic learning experience feels very close to the idea of hunting for NCEA credits, rather than deep learning experiences that come across credits.
Another notion I liked from the article was the idea of posing to our students what is “the school of the future”. They construct it and see what type of response they come up with. I guess this mostly appeals to me because of the way it encourages metacognition, but it also encourages empathy and thinking about others and their learning.