This PLN has been developed as part of a B.Ed upgrade unit called Learning Spaces. It has been an interesting journey filled with exciting new insights on learning spaces. Having been teaching for quite a few years I feel that I have, through this refreshed my understanding of learning spaces in line with most recent research on best practice.
The Learning Spaces were as follows:
The Personal Space: I have many new understandings of learning spaces which have directly impacted on my everyday personal and professional life. I apply my own taxonomy of learning knowing that this is my guide and that in order to fulfil my potential I must be first aware of where I am and where I’m going. It is the SAT NAV of my learning.
The Group Space: I have reorganised my groups in my class and have focused more on cooperative group work. My class is engaged in Project Based Learning this term and it is amazing how students of all levels rise to the challenge when given task responsibility and accountability to their own group. All students of all levels are engaged supporting each other.
The e-Space: Therein lies a challenge. I was amazed at the variety of e-Spaces that were discussed on the unit forums. New technological developments happen almost overnight. I was certainly challenged through the unit in this area, but I am extremely proud of my achievements and look forward to participating in PD in this area.
The Classroom and the School: The main change in my classroom has been to declutter it. Every square of inch is not now covered in a piece of art or an anchor chart. This certainly has a calming effect on the students. I have rearranged my desk and the children’s seating so that everyone can see out the windows.
Beyond the School: Literally outside your classroom door provides learning opportunities. Children love being outside. Children need to develop a relationship, a connection with nature if they are to be the ones who will preserve it for future generations. Having been on an excursion last week rolling logs, picking up insects and building shelters I know that we must get our children outdoors.
The Liminal Space is my favourite space. It is ‘unknowing’ space between old understanding and new understanding. It that dull pain in the pit of your tummy as you grapple to understand new concepts and ideas. I have spent quite a lot of time in this space over the last 12 weeks. This space I feel has had the most impact on my teaching practice. I look at my students learning in a totally different way. I am trying to teach them resilience, to understand that it’s okay not to know, but that it’s in the trying, in the effort, in the confusion that real learning occurs. We’re getting there slowly!!!
Future Learning Space
I developed a FLS around the Teachers Without Borders ICT initiative incorporating the e-space, group space and personal space. It has been an enlightening experience, dispelling for me, my family and my students the stereotypical images and biases commonly held about refugees. The honest and confronting accounts of many of the refugees have left an indelible impression on us. As part of Mission Week last week in school, we watched several videos of children in refugee camps around the world. My year 4 students were shocked and outraged at what they saw. I have planted the seeds and will slowly nurture their understanding over the coming weeks. They will be the future champions of refugees’ rights.
Clouds Over Sidrah
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