‘What do we think an ENGAGING school is?’ David Price OBE
January 2, 2012 Leave a comment
Below is an excerpt of an article, via his blog, by David Price OBE who summarises his thoughts of what an engaging school should be. I tend to agree with his philosophy of an engaging school. I think his vision sits neatly with my previous post on Pasi Sahlberg’s book on the Finnish education system:
‘‘What do we think an engaging school is? Well, basically a school that integrates head and hands, knowledge and skills, through project-based learning. A school that sees ‘school’ as merely the basecamp for learning, not the destination. A school that believes that we need a diverse range of learning relationships to replace the teacher-student FM/AM model. All of this should be underpinned by a culture which we describe as the ‘learning commons’: a belief that schools should be open, shared spaces where parents, communities and businesses should have a stake in, and a say in, what goes on there. Most schools are ‘enclosures’ – closed, regimented, spaces and schedules, governed by the concept of ‘subjects’ and, of course, testing. So teachers teach the exam first, the subject second and the child third. A learning commons culture might teach the child first, support the community second, and involve the parents third. (Yes, I know, you’d worry about test scores with that culture, but every school that I know with a learning commons culture has exemplary test scores)’’.
The link below, also on David Price’s blog, highlights 10 key lessons to be learnt from the ‘Learning Futures’ program along with a 5 minute video showing interviews with SLT members from various UK schools discussing operational conditions and structures put in place for innovative change to be a success.
The key lessons that struck a chord with me are:
- Getting students immersed in purposeful projects leads to engaged learning and builds relationships
- Don’t atomise the timetable: fewer blocks, fewer subjects and fewer teachers lead to better relationships and deeper learning
- Transforming engagement and learning cannot be achieved without transforming professional development
Enjoy the read and as always any comments or feedback will be warmly welcomed.