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Fragments II: micro stories about the learning business

It's Your Story, Go Tell It!

For years I was under the impression that my job was to tell the story of learning at the International School of Brussels. But it turns out I was wrong.

Peering into classrooms around Campus, it's hard to describe the learning experience of our students without our stories collapsing under the weight of the latest catch-phrase or educational cliche. Even with our glass walls and modern cameras, we struggle to bring learning properly into focus. In fact, it turns out that it's much easier to write about a community bake sale than describe for parents what learning looks like in our school.

Or maybe it is just that the wrong person is holding the camera.

ISB communications club student filming the school director

Something different began to happen when we realised that, in a school of 1500 students, we have 1500 journalists deeply invested in this learning story.

This doesn't mean, of course, that we can automatically assume that a student is able to depict the subtle contours of the learning landscape. What we have learned, however, is that they something extraordinary happens if you ask them the right questions.

The Elementary School Communications Club meets once a week for an editorial meeting. Today the students are thinking about learning and how they know if it is happening.

Learning is happening when we make mistakes. (Read more) Learning is happening when we focus. (Read more) Learning is happening when we work as a team. (Read more)

Even a cursory reading of the learning stories that they published on the school's website demonstrate a voice, a tone, and an authenticity that no adult could replicate.

So what's the goal?

Empowered student learning journalists in every section of the school, supported by those of us who have been doing this for a little while longer.*

It's their story, after all.

*70% of ISB News in 2016-2017 was written or produced by students.


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