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Learners as ‘We’ not ‘I’!
19 Jun 2020
by Sam

I have been really enjoying the book Morality by former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sachs. 

The book builds on a TED talk he delivered where the final punch line focused our attention on the value of moving from self-help to other-help and self-esteem to other-esteem. 

It is a challenge that highlights the importance of recognising that our learning journeys do not take place in a bubble, rather that they are deeply interconnected within the web of relationships that are part of our everyday lives. 

It was really sad to hear the Chief Executive of the Harris Academy chain talking (on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 -18th June) of the multitude of challenges some of their pupils were facing due to the enforced time at home, outside of the web of wider, positive, relationships that school offers. 

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is surely that investing in the learner as ‘I’ is not going to be enough, rather our focus must be to support the ‘I’ to be a part of the ‘we’. It, therefore, places the spotlight on adults who are part of children’s lives and invites them to reconsider their role as facilitators of children’s learning. 

So, as schools start to think about moving forward and making use of encouraging government support, surely part of the response must be to find ways to enhance the communities within which children’s learning takes place. Recognising that this learning does not just happen at school.

Whether children are from homes where relationships are fractured or homes where relationships are more supportive, we have an opportunity now to recognise the value of investing in the wider learning communities that children are part of, supporting children and those they live with to see learning not in relation to the ‘I’ but increasingly in relation to the ‘we’!