Active Protagonists in Learning

Coordinator: Lisa Burman

Protagonist: “The leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc.; the main figure or one of the most prominent figures in a situation; an advocate or champion of a particular cause.” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2013)

Too many children ‘pretend learn’ (Oxford Dictionaries 2013) at school – they go through the motions, compliant to the tasks set by the teacher, or zone out with no meaningful connection to what they are exploring. A view of children (of any age) as a protagonist goes beyond ‘active learning’ and respects a child’s right to a voice. To be the ‘leading character’ in their own learning, children need to truly engage with ideas, to think, wonder, create, to be confused and get messy in the pursuit of constructing understandings. How does a child have a say in their learning that moves beyond consultation? What are the implications for the role of the educator, pedagogical practices and the role of the learning environment? What kind of learning environment enables and promotes learning that is non-linear, sometimes confusing, personal and energizing? Far more than facilitating learning, how can the environment, the pedagogy and the educator activate learning that has personal meaning and relevance?

Alberton Primary School

During your visit to Alberton Primary School and School-based Preschool you will get a taste of why it was one of 140 schools across the OECD to be included in their Innovative Learning Environments Project. It has been described as making the most creative use of Building the Education Revolution funds. It was the school invited to create a quilt of friendship for Reggio Emilia after their devastating earthquake in 2013. These are all connected by an absolute commitment to respecting children as active citizens, reinforcing their enormous potential through environments that empower and enable their natural wonderment.

Blair Athol North School

Blair Athol North Birth – Year 7 School is a new 21st century school which opened in January 2011, providing education, care & health services. We are a community of learners where BELONGING BEING BECOMING is the motto reflecting our values and principles. We are deliberately moving away from a traditional model of schooling and through our professional learning community inquiring into ways of utilising the environment as the third teacher; incorporating nature education research in developing the outdoor environment; personalising learning and the use of 21st century multi modal digital tools.

We intentionally changed the language we use to describe areas, roles and buildings – (learning advisors, studios, neighbourhoods, commons etc.) to support a new way of thinking about and experiencing education in the 21st century.

This page last updated: Tuesday 13 May 2014