“You are not your brain, you are a living being that is connected to an environment. We can’t explain consciousness in terms of the brain alone, because consciousness doesn’t happen in the brain alone”

– Alva Noe, Professor of Philosophy, Berkley

A Community of Teachers

Living School’s teaching and learning is thoughtful, purposefully designed and adaptable.

Living School defines ‘teacher’ beyond the limitation of accreditation.  A community has artisans – people with unique expertise and interests. And school should be preparing our students to join these people in our community as responsible, respectful contributors.

A school’s community has a responsibility to ensure learning resonates – which involves collective agreement, ownership and modelling.  The more people exemplify positive mental models, quality understanding, expectations – the more the concept resonates in context.  And this collective resonance amplifies the understanding and importance leading to deeper understanding and more conscious awaredom.

Collective efficacy relies on confidence, competence and collaboration.  Most importantly, it takes time. Wisdom grows from experience.

In a learning experience, the teacher is intentionally sharing a concept, modelling and explaining the relevance by referencing how the concept is used in context.  This process is elaboration. Elaboration strengthens understanding and recall.  When such knowledge reverberates in their own life, the teacher role models the importance of the knowledge by distinguishing how the knowledge reverberates in their own life. When the concept resonates intrinsically with the learner, the learner/s exemplify the learning.  This collective contribution in turn amplifies the learning for all, leading to deep learning.

Whereas there is strength in a team’s collective efficacy, it is not realised unless team members contribute.  In too many schools the collective voice excludes the student. Living School emphasises the importance of all – the whole community – to contribute.

The experienced educator draws out, educes, from all learners the importance of their understanding, their beliefs, their viewpoints, to create connectedness, to energise and amplify contemplation and to harness consensus.  This is empowering the student voice.

Motivating the Community

The ideal is to develop in a school’s community intrinsic motivation – that compelling desire to succeed that comes from within.  Extrinsic motivation can serve a purpose but often it is short-lived and reliant on external forces, which means management energy and administration.

Living School believes in the principles of Self Determination Theory – where autonomy, relationships and capability catalyse intrinsic motivation.

Autonomy is the freedom to choose – not the feeling of top-down pressure to conform.
Relationships offer a sense of shared responsibility, generating a community founded on trust, diligence and respect.
Capability is a perceived confidence in oneself and one’s colleagues.  Positive feedback supports a positive perception, which leads to greater competence.

There are learning scaffolds – key frameworks – that define the pedagogy of Living School Byron. These are unique to this school and have been developed over many years of practical teaching experience. Whereas the VAST framework identifies the personal attributes or traits to develop and inspire, the following scaffolds are intentionally designed to deliver purposeful teaching to promote purposeful learning.