When was the last time you learned something new? Cooked a new recipe, played a new sport, or tackled a DIY home project?
How did you go about it? Did you read about it in a textbook or research it online? Did you employ a tutor or friend to guide you? Perhaps you watched someone else do the job and worked as an apprentice? Maybe you jumped straight into the task and learned by trial and error.
What I know is that there is no ‘One Size Fits All’ approach to learning. Learning is done best when there is a goal, when there is a clear awareness of what is required and why. One of the big take-aways for me as a teacher in our continuous Remote Learning Program has been the need to offer different ways for my students to learn. This is good teaching practice, being able to differentiate in the classroom and provide access for all students. But I have been wondering about what else I could do as a teacher to really offer my students deep learning experiences.
As an English teacher I could simply give them the text to read or ask them to research online. I could teach my students one to one or encourage them to work alongside others. Maybe I could instruct them to abandon all fear of failing and wrestle with the task in whatever way they want to and learn from their mistakes.
Deep learning requires time and energy to think differently about the task and be open and curious about the process. The current global pandemic has prompted many educators to ask these hard questions about teaching and learning. Steven Kolber (The Age, 24/5/2020) a teacher at Brunswick Secondary College invites us to not ‘rush back to an old normal’ but to ‘take time to breathe’ and ‘ponder what is possible’.
What if …we could all learn differently? If we could flip the system so students had more autonomy and agency in their own learning. I wonder what questions come to mind when you think of how learning should happen for your son or daughter? What if…?
Mrs Susan Bradbeer
Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning