This post summarises some of the thinking that Oliver Quinlan and I have been doing in relation to the Plymouth School of Creative Arts. The school is starting from ground zero, taking the opportunity to examine every process they institute.
This led us to explore the possibilities afforded by the life of an elite athlete, their quest for excellence. Elite athletes are students of their own performance. They study their performances and examine them in a quest to understand the exact set of conditions which allow them to optimise their performance.
We think that it may be possible to develop this concept for the children in the school. Often children externalise their successes and internalise their failures, they attribute great things they to to their teacher and blame themselves for their failures. The school is therefore keen to support the children in resetting that instinct so that it is not just failure that is internalised.
To do this we are likely to adopt a process of curation of the children’s work, using something like evernote or possibly J2e to enable children and adults to capture and curate as many learning moments as possible. The strategy is to use the methodology outlined by Ewan Mcintosh in his Tagged Learning project.
In short the goal is to capture in digital form as much of the children’s work as possible and then categorise it using meta tags.
A child may identify something they have made as:
Painting; difficult; proud; performance.
This develops an ongoing curated database, enabling the children to interrogate their archive for things they have performed which made them proud and then engage in coached conversations to explore what made them proud and internalise the success.
That level of curation and archiving will, over time provide a rich seam of data, which will provide the school with other ways to research its own performance (images courtesy of Oliver Quinlan):
This model is a work in progress and I wonder, as I type if the subject of the research in each example is also “self”.
We summarised this process in one diagram, illustrating the flow of data and the size of the stakeholder group in each layer of the process: