I met John Connell this afternoon on my way home. We had a grand chat about a range of topics but one of the things that jumped out of the conversation was the idea of inverting the core.
John was saying how he had received a comment from Joe Nutt about how we have to be careful that we don’t forget that schools are more than just environments for academic learning. I recalled something I’d said at the Outdoor Connections conference where things such as music; art; outdoor education; debating; performing arts; or sport should not be regarded as being peripheral activities. I’d also explored this at the ICT summit this time last year. It was at that point that John came up with the inspired phrase “Inverting the Core” – perhaps that’s what we have to do? Perhaps school will become much more of an environment which allows children to learn about how to work with others? In such a model the traditional core would surround these activities where some learning takes place in school but much of takes place outside making best use of the web and social software.
In the current model I’d argue that too much learning is constrained to the “prison yard” learning environment and the only things which have real meaning to children are those activities which are currently regarded as peripheral. If we could just turn this inside out and allow learning to become the property of the learner – and not the school. Idealistic or what!?