The Active Learning Showcase was a fabulous occasion, truly putting learners at the centre. It saw about 100 students in the hall to present and showcase their learning in conversations with mainly adults who were circulating around.
The open invitation to work the room and talk with students offered an opportunity to deeply reflect on how to approach learning conversations with students. I found that students with interesting content would draw content focused questions from me, and it would take significant effort to sometimes steer this conversation into the process. There was so much value in this for the students involved as the conversations were so empowering and the growth across the two hours was visible in many instances.
In terms of Professional Learning, I feel that one of the biggest gains of the showcase was through the decision to make it compulsory for all staff to attend. This forced staff to engage with the underlying learning purpose of active learning and any cynicism was immediately challenged by the voices of the students. It was visible during the two hours that teachers were active in talking to akonga. This must have been a challenge for many who enjoy the safety of a desk as a barrier. But the throw them in the deep end approach was a valuable experience for at the least the opportunity to circulate among learners in an innovative learning environment.
There is deeper reflection to come about the process as a whole. It is a complex journey to unpack. But it’s great to record this positive buzz!