The Fragmentation of Learning


There are times when something becomes so obvious that it hurts. Today was one of them.

We are trying to create the schedule for an in-school maths PD with Lana Fleiszig. To do this, we needed to gather the timetables of each grade level and identify times for demo lessons and planning meetings.

There was was a moment when we had the timetables for several grades laid out on the table and I had one of those painful realisations… the way we fragment the daily lives of children verges on the tragic.

The only thing that gives me hope is that, in many cases, the timetables we create for students are actually “just for show”. In fact, one of my most like-minded colleagues and I exchanged conspiratorial glances across the table as she said those exact words!!! But, when will we stop doing this to our students and to ourselves? When will our timetables reflect what we already know about learning – that it mustn’t be interrupted when it is in full flow, that providing sustained time creates the conditions for real inquiry, that it doesn’t happen automatically just because it is on the timetable.

If we are keen to ensure that things like maths happen every day, can’t we just say that and leave it up to teachers to go with the flow? I am not proposing anarchy! I am simply proposing that we allow teachers to refine their art by not forcing them to fragment, compartmentalise and section teaching into little chunks that satisfy our need for accountability but that may or may not actually result in learning.


  1. lanafleiszig

    We have the same problem with our timetable! The only save in grace is that our maths sessions, kitchen garden sessions and art sessions are doubles so at least our learners can get stuck into their inquiries for 80 minutes not 40. We are looking at changing it next year to accurately reflect what we believe about learning. Looking forward to seeing you next week.

  2. Pingback: The Fragmentation of Learning | PYP Blogging Da...
  3. NainiS

    I hear you loud and clear! No wonder I can rattle off my timetable because the individual subjects mean nothing. We go with the mood and flow of things. All I need to ensure is that I am covering the needful …but as and when I like it!

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