Developing a model of learning from 'The Pit' and Sigmoid Curve
As a school we have been developing a model of learning as a foundation starting point for the school. Initially we built this around the John Edwards model of 'The Pit' where teachers, students and parents understand the process of learning and associated feelings and language to support the journey from the unknown to learning success. The purpose of our shift is in the empowerment and development of student agency in their learning. Understanding and being able to talk about the learning process is integral to be able to make this step.
The next step in the journey was to define a model of learning that works for our school, based on the principals of 'The Pit' but bringing in our ownership. Teachers played with the model and language that goes with the learning journey and began to define the model in context. Not only did we begin to hear and see children talking about learning from a more knowing place, but we also saw symbolic ropes appearing in classrooms to signify 'throwing a rope' to help students still in the pit and to empower those that have been successful in their journey.
Across the school we saw roller coasters of learning and pathways of learning all shaped like a pit but the one that caught our attention was the visual of a learning wave. The wave flowed like the learning journey we were on, had the same analogy of moving down into the wave and we liked the idea of learning having a tipping point, where prior learning tipped you back into your next wave. It also allowed us to recognize that waves like learning come in different sizes at different times and certain waves are large and more difficult to conquer.
At this point we were also introduced to the concept of the Sigmoid Curve, again which had the same flow of the learning journey that we were looking for. We also saw this as a specific learning journey tool as the engineers of education as it gave the concept of an optimum point of learning when the learner needs to step of one join and move on to the next, before they begin to plateau. It also taught us that in the journey we need to be aware of where the learner is so as not to introduce new learning to early on in the process when the journey has not been maximised.
This then led us to the next part of the journey of developing our model where we looked to combine both the Sigmoid Curve to reinforce to teachers the importance of their role in the learning wave. Alongside the wave model which we will use across our learning in the school. Once we have a shared and embedded understanding of the model across the school we aim to add the language of learning to the model matched to stage and age.
Please CLICK to hear what our kids think about the Learning Wave:
The final phase in the development of our Learning Wave has been the creation of a shared graphic that enables children across the school to have a shared visual of the wave and to give consistency as children move through the school. The below graphic combines our vision, learning dispositions; including the I-CARE bear, and the Learning Wave with the three stages of learning: Wonder, Discover, Apply.