Creating space for, and in, the learning

I recorded this bit of audio to try and remember my thoughts as I reflected on watching my kids play this weekend. I did start typing it up, but the more I listened to the recording, the more I realized it would just be better to upload it to Soundcloud and share it that way!!!

How do you create space for, and in, the learning?

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6 comments

  1. Suzanne

    Listened to your post. I too was amazed with the kids’ intuition to use the space and resources around them to make fun over the weekend. It was so special to see and has ignited a new resolve in me to ensure this type of experience is central to more of our free time plans.

    Two other things also came to mind:

    1) The connection that you make between childrens’ ‘less than optimal’ behavior (for want of a better way of saying it) and restrictive spaces begs the question are our homes also too restrictive and/or controlled? And if so, why is that?

    2) how much should a home learning environment mirror an empowering institutional environment?

    Will ponder these and share this with my class tomorrow as we move our Arts studio into an Exhibition space.

    • sherrattsam

      I think many homes are way too restrictive. Apartment living will have a profound long-term effect on the way that kids develop.

      To be honest, I think we are still at the stage where we are trying to get classrooms that feel more like a home, rather than the other way around!

  2. dfinesto

    Like your idea Sam to record your thinking on Soundcloud. Have just downloaded this app! Your post was simple yet powerful at the same time. Visual and auditory impact! Yes kids love creating their own spaces to learn and play. Especially outside! (which seems natural) Watched some kids playing around a small stream in a park – they were totally involved in whatever they were doing and thinking, unaware of the adults around them. Sitting on a crowded beach, we observe the same. Our classrooms and surrounding areas are of course different learning spaces that may allow for kids to find their own spaces to learn. (Have watched how you encourage kids to spread out and around Sam.)
    At our school, we are fortunate that the design allows students to find their own special spaces to learn outside the classroom. Often, our room is empty – kids choose to move out. Much to my fascination, they like to find ‘ secluded spaces’. ( I roam the enclosed areas all the time of course) Building an essential agreement about how we learn best does not ‘just happen’. Takes about the first term of a new school year for most kids to understand that they only get to choose their own different learning spaces if they adhere 100 % not even 99.9% to our agreement. I asked them why they move out of the our classroom ( which is pretty spacious). They said ‘We feel more free; we know you are close by but not too close; we love spreading out; it’s more comfortable. Some sit on bean bags, oversized cushions etc. I think students simply like the opportunity of choice in their learning – be it the space, the group or the open ended inquiry – a balance of mixing formal and informal learning.

  3. Pingback: Creating space for, and in, the learning | PYP ...
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