Real Life Learning
In Te Rangimarie, we want school to feel like real life as much as possible. Our area is very self directed and managed by our children. They are learning through their interests, passions and curiosity. We provide courses to spark this interest and students take this into their own project learning. We learn in an environment that develops the following skills...
- intrinsic motivation
- self management
- problem solving
These skills are developed through naturally occuring experiences.
We are focusing on developing the following Executive Functions in authentic, student led contexts.
Executive function is the ability to organise and manage our thoughts, actions, and emotions in order to initiate, sustain, and complete a task. Again, this is real life learning, these Executive Functions are what people in the real world are having to put into practice every day.
Through personally meaningful experiences, children's working memory is constantly engaged. Rather than by rote, children are creating relevant meaning out of what they are personally interested in. They can use that learning in new contexts.
This is the study of thinking, it is about knowing yourself as a learner and setting yourself personal goals. When motivated to solve problems that are personally meaningful, students apply effort, collaborate successfully, ask questions, redo work, and seek the foundational knowledge they need to learn.
This is described as the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, or, multi tasking.
Researchers say that when children are in control of how they spend their time, they are able to get more practice working toward goals and figuring out what to do next. For instance, the researchers write, a child with a free afternoon ahead of her might decide to read a book. Once she's finished, she might decide to draw a picture about the book, and then she'll decide to show the drawing to her family. This child will learn more than another child who completes the same activities, but is given explicit instructions throughout the process.
As our days are so self directed, our children have many opportunities to be putting this cognitive flexibility into practice.
This is the ability to manage your actions, feelings and emotions and make yourself do the stuff you don’t want to do.
Just as students are given the environment to practice Cognitive Flexibility in managing themselves to complete different things throughout the day in their own way and time, they also need to be practicing the self control to actually make sure that these things happen.