Visualising Our Learning Network
This is the story of an idea that is still emerging. To be more precise, it's the gradual coalescence of three connected ideas.
For the sake of saving time and words, here's the short story.
The world is full of classrooms with cluttered word-filled Mission posters. I dare to suggest that these posters are, most of the time, unread and unnoticed.
When we speak of our Mission, most of the time we are actually referring to a collection of guiding statements (mission, values, principles, priorities, etc), each of which both capture and frame who we are and who we are striving to be as a learning organisation. These statements provide the lexicon of learning in our schools.
Good design is not just about making things look pretty but creates meaning. As powerful as words can be, the art of visualisation helps us in the quest to make sense of things, see new patterns, and make connections previously unseen.
The idea that is slowly emerging from these thoughts can perhaps best be described as the ISB Learning Network. It is rooted in the notion that running through and across our community, reaching back into our past and anticipating our future, is a cluster of ideas, principles and values. These ideas, principles and values weave and intersect in everything we do. They embrace everyone. They define who we are and who we want to be.
So we are beginning to wonder what might happen if we replace our dusty old Mission posters with something like this. Will our community better understand what we stand for? Will our students find themselves better able to track their own learning journey?
A few days after we floated this idea, a colleague introduced us to the visual thinkery work of Bryan Mathers. "Education", says Mathers, "may be linear, but learning isn't."
We couldn't help but be struck by the way in which Mathers visualised the same point. So is this an idea that will stick? Will it stand the test of time?
We cannot say for now. But we are convinced that there is something here worth exploring further.