BELONGING for Learners ages 3-10
“Through BeLonging learners learn and learn to lead; some learn best by thinking, by doing, and by loving; while others learn best by loving, doing and only later thinking.”
BELONGING Classroom Project Commission, 2004-2005 Mirano, Venice, Italy.
TEAMPLAY GROUND (TPG) provides teachers with a new kind of classroom management practice, one that operates solely in the social dimension, independent yet purposefully supportive all academic directives. This effective social application is radical in many ways. Most notably is that we can scientifically advocate for 33 learners and 1 teacher; and that it turns responsibility for the social dimension of their learning environment over to the learners themselves. TPG focuses on global imperatives and cultural traditions and all ‘roles’ and ‘tasks’ are culturally determined locally. Roles and responsibilities are designed for blended classrooms, challenged, average and gifted students, as well as learners with physical, emotional and mental challenges. They quickly discover why ‘leadership’ is an old paradigm, one that relegates the masses to a caste of ‘followers’ that has an almost infinite number of sub-castes.
During the school year, students are assigned one of eight roles, accepting this responsibility for a week with most having a different ‘task’ every day. The TPG calendar makes sure every learner fulfils every role and gets to do all 33 of the tasks. Students express feeling a sense of ‘inpowerment’, as it unites the diversity of personalities, temperaments and abilities. A rich sense of co-creation arises and classrooms become cooperative and healthy places kids want to be part of! Recognising that there are two types of learners —students are cognitively oriented and usually think about something and then do it whether they love doing it or not; and intuitive learners — kids who love doing what they love to do, and seldom waste time (in their mind) thinking about it. Cognitive students have few problems with testing but the same cannot be said of an intuitive learner, those who are more artistically or musically minded. How these two types of learners adapt and interact socially is often a universe apart. When one sees the other given the authority and the responsibility for a role they never imagines the other succeeding at, an increase in respect arises as all learned through the process.
Emotional progress was far and beyond what we dared to imagine as kids talked about loving learning, and said they were learning to appreciate, understand and love those they had judged as outsiders. Classrooms are transformed into effective, self-organising environments where learning was fun, and cooperative discovery replaced unhealthy, socially driven rivalry, and bullying and social mobbing soon became a thing of the past. Unity in diversity is something magical to behold, especially when the learning endures!
Instructions, training, templates and tools for TEAMPLAY GROUND are free to teachers in the EDUCARING experience.
Note: time and again our experience makes it clear that while the ‘game’ looks easy, it fails when the teachers do not personally understand the dynamic principles at play, rules that make the ‘game’ workable.
Connect with us today to learn more about how to bring BELONGING, EDUCARING and TEAMPLAY GROUND to your community.