I have been a Teacher-Librarian for approximately 8 of the last 14 years, and I also teach AQ courses in Librarianship. I am very passionate about the philosophy behind the Learning Commons. That is why this year, when I decided to move back into the classroom, I wanted to transfer the Learning Commons philosophy over to my new ‘Education Commons’.
This is the website: http://educationcommons.net
My original philosophy was, and still is, very pragmatic. When I began the school year, I wanted to incorporate inquiry based learning, digital technologies, forest of reading, interdisciplinary learning, information processing and higher order thinking. Like John Dewey, I do not believe that any one subject is more important than another. When we integrate our thinking holistically and all students will have a voice. Talking circles, values circles, and knowledge building circles, in addition to other student centered approaches and strategies that embed feedback and scaffolding into the classroom conversation and culture.
The Commons is the underlying philosophy of everyone having a common gathering space, where the functions of the classroom can come together in a space that is open to other classes, parents, and community members. This includes physically and virtually. Throughout the learning, students are invited to develop their own approaches to their work, and transfer what they have learned into other work. The classroom was to incorporate the tools, the space, equipment, research, equitable access, and ability to build and construct their learning. The students have the opportunity to drive their own learning. The results of this inquiry will be discussed in a later blog post.
In keeping with my philosophy, I decided to conduct this as my own inquiry. I will discuss my philosophy in further depth in a series of blog posts. I have chosen blogging as my format because many educators are sharing their own findings from inquiries and action research via blogging. I also believe that it is an emerging part of a pedagogy that fosters communication, collaboration, sharing and use of technology in our connected world.