How OneSchool Global is applying a new lens to teaching
Are you an educator who’s seeking a fresh challenge and a new perspective on teaching and learning? OneSchool Global, a network of schools with 125 campuses worldwide, applies a unique lens to learning which centres on independence and inquiry. Here are some key learnings from their innovative Learning to Learn Framework, which equips students for success in their studies and in life.
A New Educational Paradigm
First implemented in 2014, the Learning to Learn Framework aims to support and guide students towards becoming independent, flexible and self-motivated learners. At its heart, the Framework teaches critical thinking skills, encouraging students to analyse and evaluate as they study and learn. Another huge focus is teamwork and collaboration, as students frequently work together on special projects.
Learning to Learn takes inspiration from many inquiry-based learning approaches, as well as Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design, where backwards planning is paramount and learning goals shape the way in which a unit of work is designed and carried out. Teachers have an important role to play within the Framework, as Matthew Phillips, Global Director of Education at OneSchool Global, explains: “The role of the teacher becomes less of a ‘sage on the stage’ and more of a ‘guide at the side’. They’re there to coach the students, to stretch and challenge them and also work closely with those who need more support,” he shares.
Learning to Learn: A Closer Look
There are three essential elements in the Learning to Learn Framework – The Assignment, The Lesson and The Study. “The Assignment is one of the key features of the Framework. It’s the unit of work, it’s everything we teach, and it’s a contract between the students and teachers,” explains Jeff Lloyd, OneSchool’s Global Teacher Academy Director.
“The Assignment is designed around two main components – The Lesson, where the teacher directly instructs students, and The Study, where the students learn on their own, guided or facilitated by teachers.”
Developed by teachers and shared with students as an online resource, The Assignment includes all content and resources, as well as learning intentions, success criteria, assessment tasks, feedback and deadlines. It’s open-ended and differentiated to ensure that all students can connect and engage with learning materials. Choices for students are embedded throughout to cater to the diverse array of learning styles found in any classroom.
Understanding The Lesson and The Study
The Lesson is where teachers and students come together for workshops, discussions, demonstrations, assessments and direct instruction. These sessions are student-centred with a focus on learners directing their own experiences.
The Study is time set aside for independent or small group work. “The student decides which assignment they work on, guided by deadlines,” Matthew explains. “They’re also set activities where they have to collaborate with other students, understanding how to play a role in a team. The Study is where Learning to Learn really comes to life.”
When required, The Study can be utilised as one-on-one time with a student to provide specialist support or extension.
Innovative Tools and Technology
Technology is an essential tool in any classroom, but this is particularly true at OneSchool Global. The use of technology is integral to the Learning to Learn Framework, allowing students to manage their own work flow, while also facilitating collaborative learning opportunities with teachers and peers. OneSchool campuses are designed to deliver a range of learning experiences which incorporate ICT, including Zoom lessons, audio-visual presentations and online research. Each student is issued with a digital device and taught to operate it safely and effectively. Teachers participate in ongoing professional development to enhance their own technology skills.
“We make extensive use of Zoom and have done so even pre-pandemic,” Jeff reveals. “We often set up hybrid and blended environments to maximise teacher skills. So an Economics teacher could be teaching in Sydney, but Zooming out to Maitland, Condobolin and Armidale in that lesson. This enables effective teaching with experts in the right space.”
Professional Development and Training
Teachers who embrace innovative practices and have a genuine passion for authentic learning, alongside a keen appreciation and affinity for technology, are ideal candidates to work within the Learning to Learn Framework. OneSchool Global offers a comprehensive induction process, where new recruits are paired with a mentor and guided along a pathway of continuous learning and professional development via the Teacher Academy. In this way teachers become part of a supportive and inclusive community, where they can refine their skills and keep abreast of educational advancements.
“The key to the Learning to Learn Framework is brilliant teacher-craft in designing and setting up learning experiences. It’s for that reason we set up our Teacher Academy, to help teachers reimagine what teaching looks like in this space,” Matthew shares.
The Benefits of Learning to Learn
The Learning to Learn Framework provides a high quality education for students. It is designed to shape them into independent thinkers with a growth mindset and passion for lifelong learning. For teachers, the Framework is an exciting and challenging approach that enhances their teaching practice.
Danielle Santos-Dorsey, a Principal at the Los Angeles campus in North America says, “OneSchool’s unique approach to learning develops life-ready students who learn how to learn and achieve.”
If you are an educator who’s seeking a fresh challenge and a new perspective on teaching and learning, OneSchool Global, a network of schools with 125 campuses worldwide, could be the place for you. Learn more here.