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Class Visits: Process Before Product

One of the many privileges of working in and leading a school is the opportunity to witness our girls’ learning; it is a blessing to see students move from confusion and uncertainty, to expressions of confidence and “aha” moments as they learn. All of these contribute to our girls’ growth.

Too often, learning is understood to be simply about a result or an end-product, and if that final product  is wonderful, it is assumed that the learning was too. In my mind, the process itself is the most important component to learning.

While I have the privilege of popping by classes regularly, even during the pandemic (at a distance and for brief periods), others have not been able to see what is occurring in the classroom. However, last Thursday our SCS Junior School parents were invited to log on to hear from their daughters.

As I joined each class virtually, what I appreciated the most was the girls’ articulation of what, why, and how they were learning, and, in some cases, the challenges they met and worked through to accomplish their goals. The girls were able to provide what my regular visits do: insight into their learning process.

St. Clement’s School will be launching our new 2020-2025 Strategic Framework over the coming months. Understanding learning as a process rather than a product is central to this plan. The work is not easy as it challenges the preconceived notions held by many about what education looks like- that it is simply about the achievement of strong results with little acknowledgement of the challenging, messy work required to learn how to learn.

Providing opportunities such as the virtual class visits helps to guide understanding of the process – to “see” the learning.

While COVID has handed us many roadblocks, I was grateful for the opportunity for our Junior School families to visit class on Thursday.

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