21 Tips for Connecting Learners to Their Community by Becs Boyd via Getting Smart


This is a really interesting article written by Becs Boyd who explored place-based education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest through a Churchill fellowship. She resides in Scotland.

The article explores how ‘Community Based approaches can be transformative for students, teachers, schools and communities. Making these approaches work means taking a fresh look at the school community, the wider community and the environment, and working out how they can best support each other. Change takes time, and success, naturally, relies on a healthy physical and social learning environment with good relationships between educators, administrators and students. Many schools will already be connecting students with their local Place and helping them discover how to make their own place in the world a positive one.’

This blog identifies some pointers drawn from the experiences of real schools, students and teachers to help plant the seeds of Place in new school communities.

I have just listed the headings – click on the link above  to read more.

1) Learning and Caring About Place

2) Responsible Citizens

3) Active learners
4) Effective contributors

5) School in community

6) Relevant for the real world

Key questions arising:

How do you promote a culture of care?

How do you empower your students to make a difference in the local environment and community, creating caring local and global citizens?

Do you encourage ‘whole school’ learning that involves all students across all ages and classes.

How do you encourage students to learn by doing and be ‘creators’ of knowledge, with the teacher as a guide and co-learner who may not have all the ‘answers’.

Do you make students’ concerns and questions central to the learning agenda? How do you capture this? How often?

Is your school a model for a sustainable community that can act as a learning hub and role model for the wider community? If not – how will you make this happen? Are you outward looking and ambitious for your school?

Want to know more about Place-Based Education?



What is place-based learning?


Learning and Leading: A Lifelong Journey via @bethhill2829

The blog ‘Leading and Learning: A Lifelong Journey‘ is well worth a read. Bethany identies the following key areas for ‘Moving from a Classroom of Kids to a Community of Learners’. You can follow Bethany on WordPress and on Twitter @bethhill2829

Strong Relationships

Clear Expectations



Procedures, Procedures, Procedures

Student Voice

A response to ‘Improving Teaching: A classroom teacher’s guide to formative assessment’ @HFletcherWood #visiblelearning #edchat #ukedchat

This blog from IMPROVING TEACHING is a must read! It brings to our attention that AfL is under scrutiny and being challenged by some in the educational arena. For me, AfL underpins great teaching and great outcomes for children. Is it always carried out effectively? Therein lies the challenge [IMHO]! I would suggest to anyone struggling with what great AfL looks like… get yourself into EYFS because they have nailed it!!

A reminder of why assessment for learning is so important? (Click link for source)

Classroom-based research has shown that assessment for learning makes a difference to both pupils’ attainment and their levels
of engagement and motivation.
In Assessment for Learning – Beyond the black box (1999), the Assessment Reform Group usefully identifies the key characteristics of effective assessment for learning.

Assessment for learning:

– is embedded in a view of teaching and learning of which it is an essential part;

– involves sharing learning goals with pupils;

– aims to help pupils to know and to recognise the standards they are aiming for;

– involves pupils in peer and self-assessment;

– involves feedback which leads to pupils recognising their next steps and how to take them;

– involves both the teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on assessment information and data.

Assessment for learning depends crucially on teachers and pupils actually using the information gained to benefit future learning.

(Quality Improvement Agency)

Improving Teaching proposes seven principles of formative assessment:

1.Determine exactly what students need to know and be able to do.

2. Align every aspect of lessons to their purpose.

3. Show students what’s expected.

4. Respond to students’ understanding between lessons.

5. Respond to students’ understanding within lessons.

6. Provide feedback which causes improvement.

7. Guide refinement.

What do you think? Join the conversation!

The great John Hattie…

Because I love a sketchnote…

21st Century Learning Paradigm Shift

Attitudes towards learning have changed. It is no longer considered a one-size-fits-all linear activity. The ‘not-so-new’ learning paradigm places the learner firmly in the spotlight, and turns learning into a constant, self-determined, continuous process. Leaders that embrace this concept of learning enable ALL of their ‘leaders of learning’ (adults and students alike) access to a wide range of resources (digital or otherwise) internally,  externally; and (with the accessibility of social media/internet) public – to enable personalised/individualised learning pathways – rather than enforcing ALL to a standardised ‘fixed ceiling’ that inhibits growth and stifles innovative thinking.

Yet, in this current educational landscape of standardised testing and high risk accountability measures and pressures – how easy is it to fully embrace this ‘shift’ so that we can truly implement ’21st century learning’ across our learning communities – and fundamentally – what might that look like?!

I’ll let the #changemakers answer that question!

1. 4 Knowledge Domains (source TeachThought)

2. The Essential Fluencies (source Global Digital Citizen Foundation)

3. Framework for 21st Century Learning (source P21 Parnership for 21st Century Learning)

4. Defining 21st Century Competencies (source edugains.ca)

Food for thought…

How are you preparing your learners for life in a rapidly changing, digital-rich environment?

Does your curriculum inspire a passion for life-long learning?

How connected are YOU – as a LEARNER – on the global stage?

What do you do as a #THOUGHTLEADER  to…



              We can all be

                     CHANGE MAKERS