Where does great learning happen?

10% outside the comfort zone
Andy Homden, CEO Consilium Education

Andy Homden, CEO Consilium Education

When does the best learning take place? The most concise answer I have heard to this question over the years is that students learn best when they are 10% outside their comfort zone. It makes sense. If they remain comfortably inside the zone and are doing “busy work” that does not challenge them; by definition they are not learning. If they are too far away from their zone and asked to do something for which they are not ready because the required skills and prior knowledge are not in place, they can panic, despair or give up. In Martin Skelton’s words, this feels like “drowning” and learning fails.

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K – 12 school design

Getting the design right

If a school environment is well-designed, with the educational, social and emotional needs of its students properly considered, it has a head start in becoming an outstanding place of learning. The spaces created on campus will have a profound impact on effective teaching and enjoyable learning – getting this right contributes so much to the positive and supportive atmosphere that visitors will sense as soon as they step through the school gate.

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Investing in schools is investing in people

Establishing a new school needs highly motivated staff

Starting a new school is a massive task and needs the best staff possible; and they need to be highly motivated and capable of being actively supportive.  Motivation and support skills are often taken for granted, at worst not considered at all and at best assumed to be natural in-built qualities of trained teachers and managers.

Contact Peter to discuss Active Listening skills training for your staff

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Prakash Nair and Andy Homden

Building Future Learning Spaces

Exploring the future of school architecture

Building-Future-Learning-Spaces-TextLogoConsilium Education CEO, Andy Homden chaired Informa’s Building Future Learning Spaces conference held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai from March 23rd – 25th. Prakash Nair president of architects Fielding Nair International set the tone for the conference with an exhilarating address in which he challenged delegates to rethink their approach to the design of learning spaces in school. His plea was for flexibility in the use of space, which needed to open a child’s horizons rather than limit them with  the traditional “box and corridor” design.

 

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Consilium recommends: Unstoppable Learning, NPR / TED Radio Hour, presented by Guy Raz, broadcast May 3 2013

Includes 10 minute extracts from talks by Sugata Mitra, Annie Murphy Paul, Alison Gopnik and Rita Pierson, presented by Guy Raz

tedTED talks are of course a major phenomenon of our time, but the collaborative project by National Public Radio and TED to condense views expressed by different speakers at different times into a one hour thematic digest takes it a stage further.

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What teachers should know and be able to do

teacherPublished by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), 1987, now available as The 5 Core Propositions.

I found this short tract when I inherited the contents of the bookshelves in my office at Enka Schools in 2002. It lingered there for a little longer, but then I picked it up one afternoon and read it from cover to cover in an hour (it’s 21 pages long). I was fascinated by the unambiguously simple title and I was not disappointed by what it had to say. In making the case for rigorous and thoughtful practice, it makes five propositions:

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