Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Students really do know how they learn best...

Students really do have very clear views about how they learn best and what would help them do even better. Year 5 students working with architects today made it very clear what was important for them to be in their new primary school. They really quizzed and challenged the architects from CS&P - not just wanting to know what the new school might look like, but were very keen to ensure that it included a whole variety of spaces to enable them to do..... just about anything!
Boys, interestingly, were especially interested in how they would learn - and what their lessons might look like. they were not just interested in technology, but the importance of outdoor learning spaces, the need for flexible spaces for group work, teacher led work, "quiet" work and so on - the list was huge.
Another of their suggestions was for a "concentration room" so students could do their homework after school in a specially designed space - luckily for the architects, on site homework is one of the plans (with a different name though!). Between them, unknowingly, they covered many of the learning modalities identifed by Randy Fielding and Prakash Nair of FNI.
There was such enthusiasm and passion about learning it was a fascinating afternoon - I did wonder though a) how often do actually ask students about their preferred learning styles throughout our system and b) how we aggressively try to harness their enthusiasm and passion throughout their school career!

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