Lense one: Observing the materiality of things

The doors through which Marcus entered the learning environment were generous, allowing him to pause as he entered. He moved through the entrance, visually scanning the space. He located his teacher within a semi-circular seating arrangement, made his way towards him, and took a seat. Was any of that material? Did the presence of large doors, leading Marcus to a central point from where he … Continue reading Lense one: Observing the materiality of things

A lesson through three lenses

What follows is a description of a single lesson that took place in a different environment, within the same school.  In subsequent posts I will walk you through it from three different perspectives.  Marcus and his year eight cohort spilled through the generous doors of the shared learning space. The students were halfway through a French language project and they made their way towards their … Continue reading A lesson through three lenses

Edward and Isobel develop a method

Part of the way through a learning session, dedicated to maths, my attention was drawn to the far upper corner of the Zone where I could see Edward sitting on the floor whilst Isabel jumped around him. As I approached I could see that Edward was doing his best to hold two 30cm rulers, one on top of the other, in order to measure the … Continue reading Edward and Isobel develop a method

Processional, rather than successional

In wrestling with the notions of time and space in learning ecologies – I have come across an interesting way of thinking about skill. Tim Ingold in Being Alive describes the difference between tasks which are performed as a series of discrete steps, which he describes as being successional, and those which he describes as being processional – where every step is a measured response … Continue reading Processional, rather than successional

The framing of time in narrative form

If the apportioning of time impacts our perception of its passing; it is the mental framing of it that gives us the freedom to use the time we have, to dig deep. In my last post I tried to describe the transition from the notion of a single hermetically sealed lesson, to the conceptualization of a series of learning sessions, that shift and change in … Continue reading The framing of time in narrative form

The rhythm of learning, and the progression of time

Standardising ‘the working day’ played a large role in the mobilisation of an industrial work force. It brought with it certain efficiencies without which production at scale would have not have been possible. Not to mention the benefits of local, regional and global synchronisation, which when coupled with the benefits of large scale electrification, broke our ties to an agrarian way of life – framed … Continue reading The rhythm of learning, and the progression of time

An experience of community, not of class

I’ve been thinking about class size, partly because it’s something that generates debate and partly because my experience was not of class but of community. It’s a bit like the notion of the territorial ownership of space, in that our assumptions about what works, what we think we have a right to, and what we expect – shapes the trajectories of our imaginings into the … Continue reading An experience of community, not of class

Shapes in the landscape

I do wish this picture captured the movement in and out and around this installation. ‘In person’, these figures were not at all scary and it was the smallest observers who most often joined in the business of this circle. Facing the centre and copying the half-sitting, half-standing stance of the group assembled, they talked across the interior to others, both known and unknown; pausing … Continue reading Shapes in the landscape

Making thinking visible: Layers of permanence in an agile environment.

How does using this instead of that change where we end up, or our experience of learning along the way?  This is one of my favourite pictures of tool use. It was taken about half way through my time in the Zone and as it played out alongside me I had a hunch that it was interesting. However, it wasn’t until I stopped to think about … Continue reading Making thinking visible: Layers of permanence in an agile environment.