Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Big world out there

When you work in one establishment within an authority then of course you feel part of a bigger whole. You are part of various working groups and groupings of colleagues. You are involved in sharing good practice, attend a variety of meetings, feel part of an authority, sharing values etc. But what is increasingly striking me as I now visit lots of establishments, is just what an enormous variety of services are offered by education. I’m seeing tiny babies, infants, primary, secondary and am just amazed by the number of establishments and people who are involved in helping the children grow and learn. It isn’t until now as I visit so many places that the whole begins to fit into place for me – Andrew Brown made a comment to the effect that I’d meet lots of people who are interested in education and making a difference. That’s certainly true and the language of education is one we all speak together no matter what sector.

The other thing that is really coming home to roost is that over and above the learning of the children in our care, there is an enormous amount of lifelong learning going on with all those involved in establishment communities. Not just small learning – but practitioners engaging in major self reflection and change. There are lots of green shoots all over the place where we are increasingly getting even better at sharing good practice with each other across establishments and sectors. Michael Fullan said we’d be dangerous (in a good way) when we shared in this way!I think this bodes well for the future of the curriculum for excellence and for the future of what we offer our children in terms of their learning.

March 19, 2008 - Posted by | learning


  1. Its good to see more evidence of collaboration between colleagues but all the evidence has been there to support this for a while now. Lave and Wenger argued that learning is an inherently social activity, after all. Furthermore, they thought much of our learning to be unintentional through participating in what they called “communities of practice” where more experienced membrs of a group share good practice with and affect those who are less experienced. I suppose that schools could be likened to this concept of a community of practice. Perhaps this is why social learning theory actually works. I think its very interesting how our ‘virtual’ communities are taking this idea onto a whole new plane. Mercer talked about the guided construction of knowledge. Its good to realise that this can be an effective way to share good practice amongst colleagues within our various communities. Mercer outlined the features of learning communities, which he listed as collective identity, history, discourse, and reciprocal obligations. This last one is for me anway, the most important. Our responsibility to each other to share good practice should be one of the cornerstones on which excellent teaching and learning is founded.

    Comment by Jaye Richards | March 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. What never ceases to amaze me is the connections that technology can help us make in this environment. When we choose to share our reflections on a blog (or other subscribable site) people from all over the world can listen – and get involved.

    Comment by AB | March 21, 2008 | Reply

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