What Does Learning Look Like?

April 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

If ever you wanted to fill your day with the beauty of learning in child time and in child ways, take a walkabout at Counterpane. The heartbeat of this place is magical: from chickens wondering in the garden with the Lower School students to the readying of clay from the ground for pottery. It is about learning, but in ways that uniquely fit the child…age, size, developmental stages. Nooks for quietness, floor space for spreading out, a hum of exchanges about a project, discussion groups exchanging ideas right beside a child lost in thought about a piece of creative writing. It is alive with the pulse of children – gentle sounds mixed with glee and query. Learning is a way of life at Counterpane.

As I write this, exploratory piano sounds waft down the hall to the lobby, little feet move by me from classroom to library, smiles pop out of passers-by, teachers guide and respond to questions. I relish in the privilege to be here every day and to breathe the air of this environment, learning from the greatest of teachers, the child.

I walked by this Lower School student gazing out the window into the garden. He picked up a gardening book, looked at me, and shared, “I want to know how things are out there.” He was taking a break from his math work. He turned to the page on black spot and read it to me. Then when I shared we had a plant with aphids he exploded, “You need a ladybug!”

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