Monday, June 28, 2010

Classroom Visits or Learning Walks

I have just watched and really enjoyed a talk by Cheryl Doig in the latest ICT PD Newsletter on CORE.  This is the first time I have encountered the phrase 'Learning walks' but it really fits well as a way to observe a learning environment(s) for a specific purpose and then discussing and reflecting upon the observations with the intention of improving practice within your school. 

In my current role, where I am released from the classroom to support staff and children with eLearning, I have been lucky to observe many skilled practitioners interacting with the children they teach.  And because I am also involved with each class I have participated in discussions with these teachers about the learning that is happening which might otherwise not have happened because I would have been busy working in my own room and I wouldn't have had that opportunity.

Creating a dialogue between colleagues where you are all working towards achieving the same Goal can be very powerful.  We have been using quality learning circles where staff share their expertise with one another so we can all improve practice and try to increase continuity between classes, considering what... would look like, sound like and how will the children feel about it.  We feel comfortable is this setting as we have developed a good level of collegiality. We take care to focus on one thing at a time and lively discussion generally ensues which involves teachers reflecting on their own practice.

'Learning walks': something for Senior Management Teams to consider!

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