Week 17 in Review: What is learning?
Middle School Update
What is learning?
At The Forest School, it's baked into everything we do. We categorize "learning" into four areas:
Learning to Be (growing in your sense of self and purpose)
Learning to Learn (building the skills, muscles, and frameworks to guide your own learning)
Learning to Do (designing real world solutions to real world problems)
Learning to Live Together (navigating social relationships, collaborative work spaces, celebrating individual difference, and growing as a community)
All of this learning can be seen at our Public Exhibitions, when Heroes stand before family, friends, visitors, and experts in various fields to showcase their work. It is in these moments—the down to the wire, making the "clutch play" moments—that Heroes exemplify who they are and who they are growing into. That's why when we talk about learning at our school, we don't mention test scores, grades, or curriculum. We speak of moments of real stakes, real feedback, real failure, real reflection, and real growth.
Horse blinders are firm leather squares that attach to a horse’s bridle to prevent the horse from seeing behind or beside him. Lisa showed the heroes a picture of a horse pulling a carriage with blinders on and posed the question “Why is it important for the horse to only see straight ahead?” The heroes instinctively answered, “So that he doesn’t get distracted by something he sees and runs off the road.”
So, how did young learners put on their own “blinders” in the Studio to stick to their course and finish 2018 strong and focused? By relinquishing a bit of their coveted freedom and choosing to sit in the front room at a table, working silently and diligently.
As one wise hero put it: “When you choose to focus on a goal, the only option is to look ahead.”
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