I’ve been speaking to people lately about the way we, as leaders of learning, fail to take full effect of the ominpotent control we have over the learning context. In other, more simple words, we clump people together and hope that we can spray our wisdom across them with such brilliance that they are forever changed.
It doesn’t work and, as a result, I’ve become quite anti-clump.
Take the above picture as Exhibit A. It’s at school that we first start building the assumption that clumps are how learning needs to be done – but this pic is also the perfect illustration of why they fail.
In the green circle we have the students who want to engage and answer questions. That’s because they’ve already learned what the teacher is teaching. This isn’t about learning for them, it’s about showing off and that is why they are front and centre.
In the red circle, we have the students who least want to engage and ask questions. They have no idea what the teacher is talking about and so position at the fringes, ready to cause mischief and hopefully be booted out to secure their non-question answering status.
In the yellow circle, we have the kid who is staying out of eyeshot of the teacher so that he can pick his nose. He doesn’t want to be noticed … and we don’t really want to notice him either.
Who is this clump methodology serving? It’s not the teacher and I can’t place a coloured ring around any student group who actually engaged and genuinely learning or progressing.
This is not the way for kids OR grown adults to learn.
Join me. Ban the clump. Present from within. Make noise. Foster conversation above compliance. Destroy assumptions. Dispell myths.