Are you a Learner or Learned?

Today I attended the first session of PLP ConnectU project. This project, sponsored by the Victoria Education Department (DEECD) is run by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. The project offers year long, job-embedded professional development that helps teachers to re-envision their classrooms, schools, and their roles in education.

Five reasons why I enjoyed the day…

  • Will and Sheryl were incredibly inspiring and engaging presenters.
  • Being in a room full of like minded educators is refreshing and exciting.
  • Being encouraged to multitask by back-channelling and tweeting during the presentations definitely suited my learning style!
  • Instead of just talking about the big picture ideas, we will be working on a collaborative project with other participants throughout the year. A great mix of theory and action.
  • The PD didn’t end at 3:30pm. We have five Elluminate sessions and one more face-to-face session for the year. There will also be a lot of online collaboration via our wiki, Ning and Twitter.

Will and Sheryl offered so much “food for thought”, however one quote that really stuck with me came from Will’s presentation. This was a quote by American writer on social issues, Eric Hoffer, from his book “Reflections on the Human Condition” (1973). Eric Hoffer was born over a century ago, however his words still ring true today.

Eric Hoffer Quote

To me, this quote says so much about the importance of students learning from and with others, inside and outside of the classroom, during and after their time at school.

It also illustrates the importance of teachers being lifelong learners. A day doesn’t go by where I am not actively pursuing my own learning via Twitter, blogs, research, networking, email, collaboration, podcasts, webcasts, Skype etc. I am constantly amazed that the philosophy of professional development being “done to you” or “given to you” is still so prevalent.

How many teachers are there out there who are equipped to teach in a classroom that no longer exists?

The world is our classroom and we have billions of people to learn from and with. How exciting!

What do you think of Hoffer’s quote?