Saturday, 20 December 2008

Transparency and collaborative learning - not here!

As learning in the 21st century moves towards more collaborative, cross discipline teaching, with far greater transparency and openness, we are often reminded of the journey that staff and students have to undertake to feel comfortable and confident in new ways of working. Solid walls are being replaced to create far more agile spaces, with movable partitions, and, if there are walls, they are glazed with clear glass. It looks, feels and is different!

No longer is what happens in classrooms a secret activity shared by just the occupants in the room at that particular time. Nor should it be.

With increasing numbers of adults with different roles and skills working in schools, with older students mentoring younger ones, with stage not age learning, there has never been a better time for students and staff to be both excited and honest about the learning experiences taking place.

I haven't posted a depressing picture for ages. In fact I haven't seen such a closed unwelcoming door for years. The photograph above was in a school I visited some time ago, but it really does demonstrate one end of the spectrum regarding the preparedness of staff to embrace the emerging ethos of sharing and transparency. IIn fairness, this was the only door of the school like it!)

Giving staff the confidence to work in new ways is a long and important journey. The planning and professional development opportunities to develop skills take lots of time. Not getting that bit right with the most nervous or determinedly 'anti' staff can undermine the whole process in schools!

Get it right, and the learning opportunities and experiences can be just amazing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe this teacher has been a victim of the "that lesson was fine, but........" inspection. I have had many such observations. I did a self-inspection of observations once. I did a really average lesson and got the above comment, then I did a spot on lesson and got the same response. Conclusion? There are too many inspectors out there who are no more able to observe and criticize (in the true sense of the word) than the average nqt (slight exaggeration? - maybe, but it means I have little respect for the system). You have not mentioned the management of this school. Personally, I have always worked on an open door policy but you know nothing about this other than a sign on a door.