Jul 29, 2011
Comments Off on The Learning Community – Going Solo

The Learning Community – Going Solo

I spend such a considerable amount of time building the community. It is my focus for the extent of the first day, maybe week.  Even in summer school where the timelines are tight. I’ve got 32 students in this community of learners coming from the distinct cultures and learning climates of 13 different schools. To say, we are diverse is an understatment.

So we build. We connect. We compromise. We explore. We figure each other out. And eventually, we form community.

It is a noticable community. Built on ever-changing seating arrangements. Unscripted conversations, collaborative mind-mapping, presentations and more presentations.

By the end of week one, we are solid. We have a culture all our own.

And the pace quickens. Summer school is like that. We lose three members, yet we keep rolling.

By week three, it feels comfortable. But now, the end is near.

We only have three days more.

And then…it is over. The community that we’ve built must dissolve. It becomes, yet another example, of the fleeting feeling of learning.

I put so much emphasis on having a learning community and relying on them. But, I haven’t gone far enough. Because there is an aspect of learning that is solo. Personal. A place where we don’t want someone else to delve into and I haven’t spent near enough time equipped these students with this notion.

I like to ride my bike. I get on, get out to country roads and ride. Multiple hours slip past taking with it my worries and fears and enabling me to sit in the pocket of contemplation and celebration.  This is the time where I can think. I write in my head. I process my fears.  I allow myself to stroke my ego and then feel the burn as it is torn down by its maker.

This is all part of it.  The learning community works, only if we revel in the individual. We need to take/make that time to be alone.  Yet, I don’t emphasize that in class.

We won’t always have that ready-made learning community that a class provides us. We won’t always have the common, committed goal of analysis and exploration. So, are we prepared to learn on our own?

Are we preparing students to ride solo, with only their own thinking to keep them company?

Comments are closed.

6 color styles available:

Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.