There is so much written about schools and culture, but do schools really develop and nurture the culture they vocally support?
I’ve just finished teaching at a school which has and owns its learning culture.
The culture is driven, valued and student centred. This school knows who they are and their purpose. Yes, it’s an IB school, but not all IB schools have moved this far on their journey. It takes special courage to hand over a large amount of responsibility to students and it does not happen overnight either.
What makes me say that?
The students at this school are inquirers. They inquire across the curriculum with opportunities to inquire in all learning experiences. Inquiry is not a timetabled event three times a week, it is embedded deeply into the ethos of the school and its curriculum delivery.
This doesn’t mean that the curriculum isn’t planned, in fact it’s the opposite. The curriculum and documentation is highly developed.
What I know
We need to look further than students standing patiently in lines. We need to look at what’s happening in the classroom and programs in our schools. This school really does enable students to learn from their successes and mistakes. Both are valued as learning experiences.
Below is a student reflection. This student was new to the school this year and his reflection has a powerful message!
At …….. you can work where you’re at and not feel bad. If you are struggling you can still have fun and learn. I didn’t want to go to school last year and now I really want to. You are not as controlled and can choose and I choose to make good choices.