The Group Learning Space

When I think of group learning spaces, I envisage areas in a classroom or physically grouping the children based on certain (often varied) criteria. Recently, however, it has been brought to my attention that the curriculum can be considered a group learning space. Fundamentally a curriculum is a set of guidelines for teaching and learning.  In terms of being a group learning space, we (group of teachers) are required to follow and implement the curriculum(our learning of what to teach), so I guess it is our first port of call for anything we wish to undertake in the classroom. It is important to regularly visit this learning space, as educators, to ensure our practices are current, relevant and empowers us with the skills and knowledge to assist our students. With the development of the Australian Curriculum, the group will be Australian educators and then we move into state, diocesan (as is the case in Catholic education), school policies and ultimately the classroom programme which could also be considered group learning spaces.

Other considerations for the group learning space are the cooperative and collaborative learning environments. Both suggest positive interaction among group members in order to facilitate learning as opposed to the grouping itself. The two approaches focus on the processes the groups undertake and promote sharing of ideas, opinions and solving problems in a safe, supportive environment.