Just looking back over some of my notes from Melbourne MLE tour with CORE Education last week.  I am trying to pull some ideas together to mke full sense of the full-on week and all that I have seen and heard.  It was a fabulous learning experience and I have a million thoughts and wonderings floating in my head I need to get lined up in a way that they form a cohesive pattern …. getting there but a way to go.  I am posting below a reflection from on the plane on the way over by way of a frame for later posts:

 

I have been doing some reading on the plane over to Melbourne from different research about the so called 'modern learning environment'. 

Open-plan learning spaces, with the pedagogy to match, are driving learning innovation in New Zealand schools.
The new ‘hubs’ thrive on increased collaboration between teachers.
from: http://www.educationaotearoa.org.nz/all-stories/2012/9/27/dont-fence-them-in.html 

One of the interesting things is the difference between the MLE and the 'open plan' movement of the 1960's and 70's.  There is quite a lot of thinking about how the current movement is different.  The MLE is the congruence between what we know about the influences of buildings and space on learning and what we can now achieve in the physical construction of acoustically, energy and light efficient buildings; brain research and what we know about learning; collaborative practice and what we know about effective pedagogy and teacher professional learning; what we know about effective learning and how essential full engagement with students and communities is; and what we know about the impact of technology on todays students and how it is simply an integral part of their lives.

The intersection of these things is the space that an MLE sits in.  Where all the factors come together and the personalised mix is 'fit-for-purpose' for the students, community and staff of a particular school.  A key part of this seems to me to be clarity around PURPOSE.  The WHY.  What is it that we are actually aiming to achieve?  What does success look like in a school if you have the students for the full five, six or eight years?  What do they 'look like'.  What knowledge, skills, attitudes and personal values has the school supported them to build into their character?  What kind of person are they?  What beliefs do they have about where they fit in society and the agency they ave to cat and have a positive influence on the world around them?  This graduate profile is a key component of the effective implementation of the NZC and also has been a central focus for quite a bit of the work I have been doing in the Blended eLearning programme over the past two years.  

Lots of random thoughts floating but keen to see where the congruences above align with the graduate profile in the espoused philosophies and the practices.   It will be interesting to see where this fits within the schools we will visit over the next week.  Part of the real value for me is also in travelling with others on this journey.  Having the perspectives and understandings of the group, as well as Derek and Julia to draw upon is going to magnify the depth I am exploring this to as well.

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