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The Learning Environment

23 Sep 2019

As we continue to provide our young learners with a quality education that fosters their capabilities and inspires them to achieve their full potential, educators at the primary department have been fully engaged in professional development sessions on “Making Space for Learning”, where the school, with all of its facilities, is a learning space that nurtures a culture of respect and allows learners to take responsibility for their learning.

In response to the twenty-first century skills needed to better equip learners for the future, students should enjoy school years to develop self-assessment capabilities, inquiry mindset, collaboration skills, critical as well as creative thinking, and technology literacies. All these skills find their way to flourish in a learning environment that has clear expectations, utilizes positive language patterns and opportunities for modeling, develops genuine relationships, and establishes routines that allow for opportunities of inquiry and curiosity to happen.

For this, educators got the opportunity to reflect on what makes a good practice within a learning environment, then they developed criteria where students’ voices and choices are appreciated. Using a process of inquiry, action, and reflection, which promote student innovation and creativity, teachers were able to collaborate and identify the why, how, and what kind of actions the school should take to go further in implementing a culture of lifelong learning.

How committed are we to creating an inclusive environment? How will our learning environment provoke inquiry-based learning? When and how will students have the agency to choose, act, and reflect? Many challenges were targeted in the professional development sessions and addressed through pedagogical approaches and recent researches.
At HHHS, we recognize that the first days of school are critical for establishing a culture of learning that will set the right tone for the rest of the year. To promote a positive learning environment, it is important to make these first days the most productive they can be in building relationships. A sense of community in the classroom motivates students to take part participate and engage, while helping them feel safe to learn and grow, both individually and collectively.

We all believe that respectful and careful consideration of time, space, materials, and relationships all infuse understanding of learning environments and support inquiry: the way we structure space and the environment indicates what we believe about children, the quality of the interactions and relationships we have with children, and how we learn.
Educators started developing new perspectives on the various insights of the workshop. Starting with building a community of learners, educators at HHHS planned the first school week to warmly welcome students, build healthy relationships with them, and support their agency within a positive and healthy learning environment. Teachers and students will get to know each other and design their classrooms depending on students’ needs, learning styles, and interests.

Dina Jradi - Elementary School Director & PYP Team