It is now widely accepted that students do not all learn the same way and that a range of approaches to learning should be catered for. The broad goals of young adult learning today include developing learners who are collaborative, creative, adaptable, self-directed, self-managing and critical thinkers.
At All Saints Catholic Senior College, we have recognised the need to create new learning and teaching environments where the curriculum and instructional tools reflect today’s world. Our school is full of students who want to engage, socialise, communicate, create, and collaborate in meaningful ways that reflect the world in which they live.
The Father Delaney Learning Centre’s flexible learning spaces allow teachers to adapt the learning to meet the needs of students—to personalise instruction and allow students to explore different modes of learning. It has been developed to tie learning spaces to learning styles, and to provide a number of areas in which students can individualise their approach to study.
The campfire is a space where people gather to learn from an expert. In today’s schools, the experts are not only teachers and guest speakers, but also students who are empowered to share their learning with peers and other teachers.
The watering hole is an informal space where peers can share information and discoveries, acting as both learner and teacher simultaneously. This shared space can serve as an incubator for ideas and can promote a sense of shared culture.
The cave is a private space where an individual can think, reflect, and transform learning from external knowledge to internal belief.
It follows that study lessons for young adult learners must allow students to work in a range of modes if they are to gain maximum benefit from this valuable time allocation. The placement of study lessons in the Learning Centre – inspired by current thinking – will facilitate greater student control, and more effective use of this valuable time.
Davis, Ann W., and Kim Kappler-Hewitt. 2013. “Australia’s Campfires, Caves and Watering Holes.” Learning and Leading 40 (8): 24–26.