Connections can be made between many subjects, initiatives and issues in education, but there seems to be a particularly useful and exciting possibility of thinking about Community Cohesion [CoCo], Learning Outside the Classroom [LOtC], Education for Sustainable Development [ESD] and Global Learning, together.

The Tide~ global learning LOtC Liaison Group propose that by considering these four perspectives together, coherent and innovative learning opportunities could be developed. The group have explored the idea of a framework for thinking about these issues in the shape of a tetrahedron:

The beauty of a tetrahedron as a framework is that all points are connected to all others. If a 3D model of this framework is made, there are many ways that it could be viewed. For example, the tetrahedron could be moved to enable a different corner to be at the centre:

The LOtC Liaison Group spent some time thinking about this framework, asking themselves these questions:

  • Does it make sense to try to connect these four issues?
  • Is the framework useful? If so in what way?
  • Would it be best placed to prompt initial discussions or as a means to plan connected learning opportunities around these four themes?
  • What are the problems with it?

In their discussions, the group found a range of ways of potentially using the tetrahedron model by considering what links two corners along an edge [eg what is the complementarity between LOtC and Community Cohesion?]; using the faces to gather ideas about 3 out of 4 of the themes; putting particular issues or ideas on the faces which connect three themes together.

Another way of considering this model is to think about learners or stakeholders. It would be possible to place a particular group of learners in the centre of the tetrahedron [eg underachieving or Gifted and Talented pupils] and think about how the four themes can contribute to meeting their needs. Similarly, it would be possible to place stakeholder groups [staff, parents, governors] in the centre and think about how these people interact with the themes in a school.

The following is a summary of the thinking of the group:

  • Viewing the four themes as being connected brings strength to each theme;
     
  • The model prompts thinking about all how the different aspects are connected so could be used as a starting point for thinking for a staff group;
     
  • Enables a range of perspectives to be explored;
     
  • Could act as a check point/evaluation tool;
     
  • Flexible enough to be used in different ways;
     
  • There is a danger that the focus is solely on curriculum matters, so would need to be aware of other influences and whole school issues;
     
  • There is a level of knowledge users would need to have about the different corners to be able to use the model, or people would need to interact with others with a range of expertise to gain from each other.
     
  • How would you see this model being used, if at all? What are your responses to the following questions?
     
  • Does it make sense to try to connect these four issues?
     
  • Is the framework useful? If so, in what way?
     
  • Would it be best placed to prompt initial discussions, or as a means to plan connected learning opportunities around these four themes?
     
  • What are the problems with it?
     
  • How would it link with other frameworks for planning or thinking like QCDA's Disciplined Innovation Wheel or the Development Compass Rose? Does it help or confuse thinking?

  • Is it worth exploring further? If so how and with whom?
     
  • Are there any particular settings/ groups who would find the model useful?
     
  • How could we make it better?

We would be very interested in hearing your thoughts about this model, and the potential benefit of viewing LOtC, CoCo, ESD and Global learning in this way.

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