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24 June 2016

posted 23 Jun 2016, 14:51 by Carolyn Brett
Next week I am off to Geelong Grammar School again. It's over a year since I had the initial 'Immersion' and started studying towards a Certificate in Positive Psychology. At the culmination of this final 'Immersion', I will have graduated. (I hope!)

This study has covered everything from change to brain research / mind + body / coaching to relationships. Next week I will be presenting my final project which is demonstrating how the material has been used in an educational setting. I will be taking a folder full of wonderful child centred examples, from goal setting/reflection to character strengths to gratitude circles to our learner attributes. I will also have examples of staff professional learning........ (I will have a heavy bag!). I look forward to having a session to discuss this work further for any of you who are interested next term. 

We have a lot of interest in our school from other schools across the country as they grapple with collaborative spaces/team teaching and the expectations that the government has around schools being, what is termed, 'Innovative Learning Environments' (ILEs) which has moved on from 'Modern Learning Environments' (MLEs).

"Most schools were built between the 1950s and 1970s. The way that teachers teach and students learn has been developing since then. We want all schools to have vibrant, well connected, innovative learning environments (ILE) that encourage and support many different types of learning.

An ILE is the complete physical, social and pedagogical context in which learning can occur. We used to refer to these as modern learning environments (MLE). An ILE is capable of evolving and adapting as educational practices evolve and change. One part of creating an ILE is to modernise the spaces that teachers and students spend their time in."
 (Ministry of Education)

Our school is slightly different. We feature on the cover of the book 'Open Schoolhouse' Environments for children in New Zealand by Gerald Melling, printed in 1980. In this book, there is a delightful piece ".....A kind of smorgasbord......not withstanding the wide range of herbs, garnishes and spices made available to the chefs (teachers) for the children to select from, there are a few staple ingredients to the educational meal which must be present to avoid any possibility of indigestion." This was over 35 years ago, but I guess Gerald was talking about what we refer to now as 'learner agency' .

So, soon, when I am staying at Geelong Grammar School, a boarding school, a school steeped in tradition, a school that looks completely different from ours, I will reflect again on the smorgasbord they offer. It may have a few different flourishes, but essentially it is a very similar meal!