The major operational units of the Tasmanian Department of Education are called regional "Learning Services".
But what does this say about the core responsibilities and activities and the people involved? Who is supposed to be active and who is to be passive? Who has the authority to do what? Who are the contributors and who are the consumers? What is the social contract between participants and stakeholders? And how does this shape the climate in which education occurs?
These issues are not easily unravelled by thinking of education as a service, for example, using this model the consumers (learners) are the producers of the outcomes???? Great schools need to be more than service centres.
Schools as communities
@iirpgradschool recently tweeted an interesting and different perspective:
- We must include young people in changing the climate in the (school) building. "I am no longer a consumer – I am a contributor."
Restorative Practices enable schools to develop as communities:
- Affective statements enhance communication and help build collaborative relationships
- Circles enable everyone to be included and to contribute towards their own success, the success of others and the school as a community
- And when things go wrong restorative questions, meetings and conferences can support those involved, enable harm to be repaired, relationships to be rebuilt and wrong-doers to be retained
- Belonging and contributing meet a fundamental human need, reduce anger and discontent by adding to identity