Thursday, 23 September 2010

Extraordinary learning

Has anyone been watching Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary school for boys?
I only caught the initial trailer and the last ten minutes of the series but that alone was one of those wow moments. A class of boys who have been disenfranchised by modern education were allowed to learn in ways that a few of my old teachers might have had heart attacks at. Despite having lessons outside and sometimes up trees, waging mock battles and playing football, they showed between six and twenty months improvement in their reading skills in just eight weeks!
I was summarising the first block in T306 Managing Complexity this evening and noticed a comment that the notion of grading and quantifying learning was only introduced in 1792. Was this when it all started to go wrong?
Block one introduced the concept that learning and experience go together. I've found this to be a powerful aid to learning. When completing my HNC in Computing, I was able to use a work based project towards the HNC. My work project benefitted from application of more theoretical ideas like Human Computer Interface and systems analysis and design and I was able to gain a distinction in the HNC by turning in a well rounded project.
I need to get some sleep so will summarise the rest of the block by saying it gave me hope. Hope that complex, messy, chaotic situations are not to be feared but can be welcomed and accepted and that there are methods I can use to understand them and manage.

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