I was privileged to share a learning journey with Willow Park School, and an amazing group of Grade 6 learners. Willow Park School, as an Arts-Centred Middle School, was a new experience for me as someone who previously struggled to understand and be one with the arts.
This work largely began with assisting in the development of the Virtual Learning Commons, after an unexpected situation forced Willow Park School away from it’s Learning Commons space. I have taken a large interest in the idea of Learning Commons, and how we can bring learners together and be more actively and collaboratively engaged in their learning.
This work branched into an effort to making learning meaningful and visible for every student, as we pushed the limits of the classroom and engaged students in research of their own, where they “set sail for the stars” and connected their learning across all disciplines and to the curriculum. This work is incredibly valuable, because it specifically looks at this type of inquiry and autonomy within the context of an Arts-Centred learning school – and specifically, how the identity of artist and be preserved while exploring new ideas that may not previously have been integrated.
This work was presented at the Galileo IDEAS 2014 Conference, the Dabrowski Congress 2014, and the Congress for Social Sciences and Humanities 2016.