Before I put some words together about what Time Space Education means to me, I think it is important to take a short look back to how it all came about in the first place. Keeping this brief is going to be a real challenge. Sam and I discovered that when we were team-teaching we felt there should be ‘core elements’ present in learning. We’re big fans of alloteration and we were very happy to find that we can describe these core elements using words that all begin with ‘E’! We believe that true learning is more likely to take place when these Elements are at the epicentre of teaching and learning:
- Energy (we talked about adding this one afterwards)
After a lot of experimentation and discussion we realized that these “4 Core Elements” actually boil down to two things:
Everything we do stems from these two fundamental foundations. I personally like the idea that these two foundations start off as roots. They grow in the direction we allow them to. These two foundations are (generally) the same for everyone and everything. We all have time, and we all have the same amount of time – 24 hours in a day. We all have space, physical space and mental space. It is what we do with the time and space we have that determine the growth, pace and healthiness of the seed(s) we plant. If we are able to strike a respectful balance and a healthy relationship with time and space then everything will naturally flourish. Yes, we all have different situations (workplaces) and conditions (demands and expectations) and that is the beauty of time and space. It is making it work for us all both personally and collectively.
Time and Space are independent from each other, but here is considerable overlap and they are both connected and embedded in one another which makes them more powerful and relevant. For example, if you want to create more space in your head to think more deeply and invite creativity you need to take the time out to do it.
Sam has shared with you what Time and Space means to him. Naturally, I agree and support his values and beliefs on this as we have shared this journey and discovery together.
Time and Space are the fundamental foundations that need to be present from the roots-up. If our conversations and decisions have these two foundations present, and we are mindful about our intentions then our “trees” will be lush and abundant.
Time and Space Education values how we use time and how we create a space that promotes and integrates what we do, how we do it and understand why we are doing it. It is the anchor of purpose and reasoning.
Time and Space challenges us to re-think the way we do things. Do things a little smarter than before. It is about respecting time and it knows where to focus your attention, effort and energy. It helps us get smarter at what is important. In essence it simplifies it all, so that we get back to basics…… to where the real teaching and learning is!
The main aim of the language arts presentations was to get a good understanding of our current beliefs and practices about language teaching and learning so that we can look at how they compare with PYP philosophy.
One of the main constants in every team’s presentations was a belief in “integration”, “transdisciplinary teaching” and “language as a vehicle for inquiry” (see the images below).
These beliefs are clearly aligned with the first two sections of the incredibly helpful chart on p. 71 of “Making the PYP Happen:
So, the next step is to see if our practices are just as aligned as our beliefs. The plan is to do this through planning sessions using this diagram from page 4 of the Language Scope and Sequence Document:
We will do this in the planning session following the initial planning of the unit of inquiry by which the following would normally have been covered:
- Cross-examination and clarification of the central idea
- Outlining desired conceptual understandings
- Consensus on assessment tools and/or strategies
At this point, it is appropriate to look at what receptive language will be needed/developed in the unit for students to receive and process information, and the expressive language that will be needed/developed in the unit or students to express their understanding. The outcome of this should be:
- Clear transdisciplinary links between the unit and language, i.e. language as a genuine “vehicle for inquiry”
- Clear areas for stand-alone focus
- Clear direction for skills development
- Clear focus for Learning Support and ESL Teachers