Lest you think that I have a passion for both brushes and beakers, I thought I should spend a post reflecting on what inspired the name of my humble little blog…please excuse the excessive use of the phrase “I believe”…this may read a bit like my philosophy of learning…
We often hear the expression “teaching is both an art and a science”. I believe that everything that goes on in a school community can be classified as either an art or a science…or a bit of both!
The art of learning is our ability as a school community to intentionally harness the human potential of our membership (staff, students, parents, outside community). How are we honouring the passions, interests and learning styles of our school community? How do our processes and practices allow opportunities for our school community to take part and to take risks.? How do we intentionally foster an environment that allows a light to be shined on the passions of our members? Ideally, a focus on the art of learning leads to school community steeped in engagement.
The science of learning is our ability as a school community to transform and harness the passions, interests and learning styles of our community in ways that lead to positive academic outcomes. What are the best practices and PD opportunities (with a nod to Shannon Smith‘s recent blog post, “What counts as professional development?“) that we are fostering to improve student achievement? What are the processes in place that set up ideal conditions for high yield strategies like co-planning, moderation and active reflection? Do school improvement plans set up high expectations for students? Are practices and expectations aligned just enough to ensure all students a safe network of supports and high expectations across the grade levels? Ideally, a focus on the science of learning leads to improved academic outcomes for all students.
This rather basic balance has become one of my reference points when considering new school initiatives and reconsidering/reflecting on past and present processes and initiatives.