Sunday, August 28, 2016

Teacher Only Day Professional Learning with Julia

Once again we had the pleasure of tapping into the educational knowledge and ideas of Julia Atkin.  I always enjoy these experiences not only because of the content knowledge that Julia brings but the way in which she is able to challenge, provoke and lead us to new ideas, change the way we address our practise and think about learning.

Specifically this time her focus was on our 3rd teacher, The Space in which learning takes place.  We are lucky enough to be able to teach in lovely new spaces that have been designed with modern architectural ideas and practises in mind.  They aren't cold and damp.  They aren't Autonomist Learning Environments  - ie boxes ( 7 x 10m).   They aren't piecemeal, ie where teachers and school have tried to adapt the spaces to fit with Modern Learning theories and practises.  We are fortunate to have these spaces and how we use these has a great impact on the culture and learning within them.

We named our spaces habitats.  What is a habitat?
Wikipaedia says
habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animalplant, or other type of organism. The term typically refers to the zone in which the organism lives ....
It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population.
A habitat is made up of physical factors ....
Every organism has certain habitat needs for the conditions in which it will thrive, but some are tolerant of wide variations while others are very specific in their requirements. 

I could go on, but these snippets of definition, I think, support why we called our learning spaces habitats.
The last sentence resonates with me as although we are all from the same species for learning to occur for us we require different environments/spaces at different times for different purposes.

I enjoyed watching the process of the habitats re organising their spaces.  The way that Julia told us to tackle this made complete sense.  Ie working through the activities that they wanted to take place in their habitat and the type of space that was needed for this.  I for one as a teacher previously did this the other way around.  
I am looking forward to the evolution of our spaces within  our habitats.

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