A Community of Learners

Richard KingPedagogy0 Comments

It’s a sad truism that our schools do not always help to make our young people very employable. It’s an increasingly complex world out there and the constant refrain from the business world is that students leave schools and colleges without the necessary preparation to apply their talents to the world outside the classroom.

To get on in the modern-day workplace, learners have to take possession of their learning: they have to demonstrate an independence of approach, in which they do not over-rely on established systems or familiar conduits of success but they devise these for themselves.

Learning how to learn is of premium importance.

(Do the students understand a given problem? Is there any of it that makes sense? Does it remind them of anything that they have solved before? What did they do last time? How do they take the first step forward? What resources are there to make use of? Are any of those resources likely to reflect bias or inaccuracies?)

Student Classmate Friends Understanding Study Concept

They need to be supremely sociable beings, able to recognize the unique contributions others can make and see what distinctive attributes they can bring. An ability to engage and to network is paramount. We do not live in isolation. Increasingly, we are connected to each other through all manner of social media, information and misinformation, and young people need the skills to negotiate a path through a complex structure of relationships, both making sense of them and critiquing them. They need to find ways into breaking down difficult issues and problems.

In classrooms, Adventure Labs strives to help develop these skills. We recognize the importance of facilitating the collaborative creation and sharing of knowledge, the sharing of skills already present in the group and making the most significant learning points clear to the students.

The sharing of resources is essential. Ordinarily, resources are not made available during assessments. Students are not allowed access to friends, the teacher, books, parents, Internet or smartphones. But should there be a difference between what helps you solve a problem in and out of class?

We strive to make it clear that students are part of a community of learners and that the collectively generated learning must be shared.

And this is a profoundly active process, not a passive one. We are all invited to join in.

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