During my visit to Preston Lodge this morning I asked a class why they throught they were able to produce such outstanding work in the Art Department – and believe me it is outstanding.
The answer blew me away!!
“They take what we know and help us learn more” Natalie
Jim Cram, the Principal Teacher, explained that the teachers in the department try to give the learners space to work things out for themselves and to act as “waiters” – there to serve and anticipate the next step. I gave this more thought on the way home and I quite like this analogy – the (good) waiter provides a menu, provides advice and guidance, provides the tools and resources with which to eat, anticipates the needs of the diner throughout the meal and try to remain as unobtrusive as possible. As ever with metaphors – the more you strecth it the weaker it gets but I certainly know what Jim meant – and, what’s more, so did the class.
As Jim pointed out such a process involves significant preparation but the rewards are worth it – from what I saw today they certainly are.