How does a typical week of learning look like at our learning space? How does learning happen?
This is the hardest question to answer, because no day looks like the other at our learning space. Also, because every learner is unique, so he/she deserves to have a different day every day that suits their passions and interests. We do have an outline for the day, however, whatever happens within this outline is different from one day to the other. Additionally, within the same day and the same offerings, different learners will have different experiences.
Below, we will share with you how a typical week usually looks like, but remember, it is all experiential anyways, you’ve got to experience it all by yourself and take it in your body!
Our learning cycles goes in a.intention, b. creation, c. reflection, and d. sharing phases.
A typical weekly cycle at Mesahat looks like this
- Morning meetings: learners start their morning meetings in small groups with their facilitators. We keep a facilitator : children ratio of 1: 10. In their morning meetings, learners set their learning intentions for the week. They use manual and digital tools for this
- Set-the-week meeting: all learners gather (from different smaller meetings) into a big meeting to set the space’s week schedule together. Children use agile practices and democratic processes to set their week. MORE ON OFFERINGS/CLASSES:
- In the process of setting the week: children, along with facilitators, schedule offerings
- Offerings are on different life topics and usually answer children’s inquisitive questions and respond to their curiosities and interests
- Offerings come from all members of our learning community, that is: children/learners, facilitators, parents, resource people and community elders
- Offerings span a multitude of learning varieties that address the head, heart and hands
- Offerings are presented in multiple shapes and formats (classes, trips, projects ..etc)
- Examples of offerings can be: food plantation, waste management and recycling, robot making, website design, world cultural days, junior architecture, game sessions..etc.
- Offerings are what correspond to “classes” in a traditional school. We call them “offerings” because children choose what to participate in – nothing is obligatory, hence, it is an “offer”
- As a general reference guide, our offerings fall broadly into any of the following circles of knowledge – however, this list is still not exclusive and some offerings may not have a specific category to fit in:
- Setting individualized learning plans: every child sets their own week, meaning every child chooses what offerings they are opting in with the community and what other activities they are doing individually to complete their own learning goals and intentions for the week
- Children go off to create and implement their personal learning plan for the day guided and supported by their facilitators
- Our day during creation time looks like a honey bee, you can find groups of children in different places of the space doing different activities. For example: you can find a group of children in the garden studying insects and flowers while others are building a robot and others are taking some mindful individual time on their own individual tasks like learning a language or completing a writing project. And much more …
- Children spend some community time at the end of every day for collective activities and space clean up
- End-of-day-meeting: children gather at the end of every day in small meetings with their facilitators to reflect on their day and how it fit with the intentions and learning goals they set for themselves
- All learners gather at the end of the day for community time to reflect on the our collective accomplishments for the day
- At the end of every week, children document their learning in different ways according to their preferred mode of expression. Children use a variety of manual and digital tools to share their learning with the world
- These documentations get added to a digital “learner portfolio” which allows learners, facilitators and parents to track the progress of a learning journey. Learning portfolios are what testifies to what children have learnt throughout the year
- Children host sessions for their peers to share their new learning and complete their learning cycle
Sometimes, the description for what happens during our day is best described simply as “magic.” It changes monthly, weekly, daily. The days are full of trips, classes, games, discussions, stories, creation, collaboration, and surprises. It’s all work and it’s all play.
(our weekly structure is adopted from Agile Learning Centers (ALCs), a network of self-directed education schools in the USA – We are a member of the ALCs network)