Archive for the 'Classes' Category
The first five days of school life at Brockwood are always a challenging mix of activities: there are numerous meetings of floor groups, tutor groups, returning student and new student groups. There are events designed to get everyone thinking deeply about the state of the world, their own lives and an education that might enable them to meet life fully. Finally, there are those activities intended to mix everyone up, allow them to get to know each other and make friends while having fun. These have all been happening since the students arrived last Friday and today they can pause for a day of rest before the business of creating classes and the timetable begins in earnest tomorrow. (Photographs by Mark Apted and Bill Taylor)
Yesterday teachers met together to start the work of preparing for the new academic year. Professor Eleanor Duckworth was at Brockwood for one more day after the conference ended to work closely with teachers on teaching and learning (See the very recent blog post “The Virtues of Not Knowing”—Education Conference Retrospective”).
Brockwood teachers were given the following two assignments to work on in small groups: (1) design an activity which engages the learners in the subject matter; and (2) in designing this, make sense of the learners’ understanding rather than telling them what they should learn. Afterwards they came together and presented the activities to one another. In the coming week staff will have their staff ‘retreat’ during which they will work hard to put the house together in time for student arrivals on August 30th.
What would it look like for learning, and not the measurement of learning, to be at the core of every educational interaction?
In this timely article, Brockwood Park School Co-Principal Gopal Krishnamurthy and staff member Sunsong Clark (shown in this picture with other teachers at their Teacher Education Program in Ojai, CA) argue that “unless we closely examine our conceptions of teaching and learning and how this gets enacted every day, in every moment, reform may provide some reprieve, but not a foundational reframing of teaching-learning and a repurposing of schools for the values that we all really care about.” This leads them to pose the question, “What would it look like for learning, and not the measurement of learning, to be at the core of every educational interaction?”
Read their article, written with Craig Walker, here:http://journal.kfionline.org/issue-17/from-visibility-to-accountability-and-assessment-a-sleight-of-hand
Vijay Raghavendran, our in-house data wizard, made this interesting visual analysis of our recent spring workshops. We bring in alumni and friends of Brockwood to conduct classes over a short week every year. It’s a wonderfully active time!
One of the highlights of the Autumn and Spring terms’ schedule is a school-wide Teachers’ Meeting, at which residential and on-residential teachers join forces to discuss topics of common interest. Feedback on classes, individual tussles and difficulties, questions and ideas relating to the coming term or next academic year can all shape the discussion. During our most recent (March) meeting we were given much food for thought in the area of Learning Support, and of Homework, and also listened to strong parental feelings with regard to the recently rejuvenated idea of an English baccalaureat. Which subjects are to be taught, and how much time they are given, together with the subtle or not so subtle expressions of their perceived importance, whether as exam subjects or not, are perennial themes for parents and educators, and Brockwood is no exception in this. Sharing our encrustation-prone perceptions, and recognising the need to polish and revise them, left us feeling glad for a morning well spent.
By Adrian Sydenham, Co-Principal.