Monday 11 May 2015

Authentic transforming learning relationships between adults and children blossom during Family Learning Hui Number 7

After twelve weeks of learning in newly redesigned Engaging Learning Spaces, our students have confidently been able to step up and support families to extend their thinking skills. During Family Learning Hui Number 7, our students became the teachers, as they guided families through the different levels of the SOLO thinking taxonomy with the goal to move from relational to extended abstract thinking. Families had to demonstrate how they could transfer their learning to new situations and apply it to different contexts.
Image Produced by Pam Hook (@arti_choke) 
Our Family Learning Hui's (FLH's) evolved as part of a commitment to support families to actively participate in deep learning experiences with their children. Being part of a Learning and Change Network (see this video link to learn more) motivated us to review our existing partnership with parents. Last year, we began to focus firmly on learning relationships. We held four FLH's and numerous parent workshops and forums. You can go to this link to learn more about our Family Learning Huis. Our huis enable families to be immersed into informal, social, collaborative and engaging learning environments that mirror our school wide teaching and learning practices.
Image from
Our goal as educators has been to move from the 'sage on the stage' to the 'guide on the side' in classrooms and when running events. We have had to pull back from a natural tendency to stand at the front and speak to our family audience during our FLH's. These FLH's replace our traditional staff meetings and so all teachers and some support staff attend.They sit with families to participate and learn along side them.

FLH Number 7 was a chance for some of our senior students (Yr 6,7,8) to share their project based learning experiences, followed by group work around the SOLO taxonomy ultimate level of extended abstract thinking. 
One of our Year 8's shares his project and applies extended abstract thinking.

Families participate in an icebreaker activity to determine areas of importance in learning for them and their families.
Students work with families to apply their project learning into new contexts and help parents to understand higher order thinking.

There was a definite transition from teacher led to student led direction during this event. It happened naturally in this informal learning environment where trust, support and integrity allowed space for authentic transforming relationships between adults and children to blossom (Burford,2005).
This has provided the guiding light for future FLH's. Teachers will be able to take a back seat while students take the lead. We are already planning our next FLH with our students.

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