Building Learning Capacity

It’s been a truly fascinating and inspirational first three days at Stonefields, and unpicking the principles and ideas behind the practice has been quite challenging, although extremely interesting.

One thing that has really stood out to me, is the four rocks that Stonefields uses as a metaphor for their vision.


I’m still unsure about whether this a completely linear process, however I am almost certain that the building learning capacity is fundamental to the rest.  My interest lies directly in developing learner dispositions/powers/capacities, however, the learning process has also really stood out to me as being linked with the dispositional elements of the first rock.

Teachers follow this model to design learning, and children use this model during breakthrough to be their own teachers.  Each slide of teachers’ Google Slides (their version of flip charts) is colour coded by reference to the learning process.  Looking at the verbs within each stage, there is some alignment to the SOLO taxonomy levels of multi-structural, relational and extended abstract.  However, there are also some very relevant ways of thinking, too.  This conceptualisation seems to look at the entire learning journey, and it was really interesting to see the children use this as a scaffold to plan their own learning.

I plan to find out more about this next week, but an idea I am starting to form is that understanding the learning process is a really important part of children developing their learning dispositions.  As we at Bader develop our own conceptualisation of Claxton’s learning powers, I wonder too if we also need to consider how we communicate the learning process to children – if we desire them to be able to self-teach.   As part of my role in developing learning dispositions, I’m certainly going to ask the children how they conceptualise the learning process – how well do they understand the stages a learner goes through?  Is this aligned with teachers’ conceptualisations? And does this all fit with what we know from research about the learning process?

Stonefields categorically rejects that children of different ages need different types of learning processes – a real belief that all children can follow this model.

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