Our next newly revised goal for Opal School students is this:
Collaborate with others to construct ideas and create new knowledge.
It looks like this:
It sounds like this:
6 – 8 year olds discuss drawings they've made depicting their theories of the brain…
Polly: The brain helps you to see stuff.
Marion: Your schema helps you to see stuff, too.
Polly: I am wondering if there are eyes in every part of your body? Like if my leg got broken, the eyes help me to transfer things, blood cells…
Quentin: If you got a really bad scrape in your knee, does your knee see it?
Polly: The eyes in your body have to see it, it all works together to see it.
Marion: (refers to her drawing) All the other things are my schema.
Lyle: The eyes help you to see and the brain helps you to see, say you got your brain cracked open.
Polly : You would die because the brain is the most important part.
David: No, it’s the heart and the blood.
Polly: There are tubes from the heart to the brain so they would fall out together.
Marion: The soul is the most important.
Nat: The soul makes you who you are.
Polly: The heart is the most important part of your body.
Marion: If you weren’t who you are, you wouldn’t be you. You need the soul, brain and the heart.
Nat: If Marion doesn’t have her soul, she’s not Marion.
Here are some perspectives that reflect our emphasis on collaboration:
Nice Guys Finish First by David Brooks
Only One Way to Stop a Bully by Susan Engel
Collaboration in the 21st Century by Sir Ken Robinson
But most importantly we support our students to develop their strengths as collaborators because it is one of their most powerful natural learning strategies. Nurturing and building upon each child's drive to be in relationship with the world around him/her supports connection and opportunity to experience ideas and possibilities we could never encounter on our own. Collaboration supports communication, flexible thinking, creativity, innovation and imagination. These are skills that live within healthy brain architecture that is best developed when people are young.