As we embark on a new chapter at NBCS, we have been reflecting on learning, and what, in the end, it entails. Student learning operates on a number of levels as they learn content, skills, attributes and character.
The content in any given class or lesson matters, and it should be an area of expertise for the teacher concerned. It becomes a vehicle through which students then learn the skills they need in a particular domain. For instance, in History, the content may be the Russian Revolution, whereas the skills developed might be information literacy, interpretation of source material, analysis and evaluation of historical perspectives, and the ability to develop a coherent and supported argument. In time, a student may forget elements of the Revolution, its causes, course and consequences, but that is relatively easy to revisit. What they won’t forget is the ability to weigh evidence and build an argument based upon the evidence.
For a student to understand content and use it to develop mastery over specific skills requires learning attributes. These attributes may include grace, responsibility, reflection, insight, inquiry and perseverance. These learner attributes are a subset of character.
In the end, who we become is more significant than what we know. How we learn, and our ability to learn, is more significant than what we have learnt.
This does not diminish the importance of content or subject specific knowledge. It instead notes that deep learning, the learning that shapes who we are and what we can do, is the ultimate aim of our lifelong learning journey.
At NBCS we foster deep learning, the learning that is self-perpetuating- the learning that breeds understanding rather than just knowledge, and sows the seeds of success for each and every student. It’s hard work, but ultimately worthwhile and rewarding