Eva is a Year 6 student in Colab at CSNS. "For my impact project, I decided to investigate MLE’s (modern learning environments) and traditional classrooms. I wanted to do my impact project because it affects me and all children who go to school." As part of her project, Eva wrote this email to Seven Sharp regarding an episode that featured Modern Learning Environments (MLEs). Last week we shared it with the parents who attended our Parent Information Evening with Mark Osborne and this week we published it in our school newsletter.
Dear Seven Sharp,
I have just watched your piece on MLEs from Monday night. “One size fits all” is how Ponsonby Principal, Anne Malcolm, described a MLE. I disagree with her statement because I come to school every day and learn in a MLE and my opinion is totally different. Anne basically said that students in a MLE all get treated the same and that the teachers don’t care about students that need help. Everyone has different learning needs; some students need more support than others and some students aren’t challenged enough. In our class our learning is personalised. We decide what workshops we need to attend based on our learning needs. We have four teachers who have different strengths. They challenge us as learners and grow our understanding of different areas of the curriculum.
In my opinion, I like learning in an MLE. I like traditional classrooms as well but I am not challenged enough. In a MLE I am challenged because we have interesting tasks and I have the choice to attend the right workshops for my learning. I have to try really hard because I am involved in a lot of other sporting and academic activities outside of the class. In a MLE I have the flexibility in my timetable to prioritise my learning.
My confidence and ability to collaborate has grown in a MLE. As stated by the OECD, MLEs are designed to develop skills such as collaboration, creativity and problem-solving. We need to be able to manage ourselves and be able to ask people for help and work with others. A misconception often associated with MLE’s is that children’s learning isn’t as effective and that teachers are taking a step back. I would argue that this is wrong because we are more involved in the learning process, rather than finding out our next learning steps in a report. I think we are benefiting from this.
Most years at College Street we have been given a different topic each term to form an inquiry around. However, this year we have been doing something different called an Impact Project. We got to choose whatever we would like to learn about as long as we were passionate about it and the topic of our choice has to have an impact on something or someone.
For my Impact Project, I thought it was a good idea to investigate MLEs and traditional classrooms because it affects me and it is a huge talking point right now. I wanted to get lots of different opinions and information from a variety of ages and levels of ability. I’ve read a lot of different articles throughout my impact project, some were against our modern way of learning and some were supporting MLE’s.
The Ministry of Education states that MLEs are about creating an environment that involves educators, learners, and families. MLE’s support teachers to prepare children to be confident and get in the ‘Learning Pit’ and to achieve the national curriculum.
This year my class (Colab) is made up of 90 children and we learn in 4 different spaces. In Colab we learn with technology, so I decided to send out a Google form, which is a digital form that surveys people on a topic or something they may need to find out. Based on my Google form results, 94% of our class like leading their own learning and 79% of our class prefer learning in a MLE.
Learning in 2017 is rapidly changing and I think soon every child will be learning in a MLE. If you would like to see an effective MLE in action, I suggest you visit our class because I disagree with the things you have put into the media.
I look forward to hearing from you.