Author: Roger Sinnett, Headmaster
These are indeed interesting times we live in, with our social fabric falling to pieces around us and much that we take for granted being questioned by Covid-19.
However, let’s look deeper. Students at St Bees School are soon to start their online learning programme. We have trained and counselled both students and teachers in the realities of how to derive the maximum from a distance-learning system, and will soon be embarking on a very different learning regime.
Is online learning from home a necessary evil or does it have redeeming qualities? Does this cloud really have a silver lining? Let’s dig a bit deeper and think it through.
The St Bees educational philosophy is founded on the concept of ‘fusion’. EQ is developed in balance with IQ. Character development leads to considerable growth in maturity which is the engine which, in turn, drives academic attainment.
So far so good, but how does online learning fit into this equation?
Working alone from home requires students to accept responsibility for their own learning
Being in the right place at the right time with the right equipment
Being able to work independently and reliably with or without supervision
The ability to research information quickly and efficiently, to organize it and apply it effectively
To think outside the box, to create learning rather than to consume it.
Ask any employer as to what qualities they look for in a candidate, and the above attributes would figure high on their list. In the future, when students have forgotten most of what they learned at school, these competencies will remain.
At St Bees School, we place great emphasis on the development of maturity in order that our students can see the bigger picture, understand the learning journey and set their targets diligently. Our online learning programme can contribute significantly to the development of such maturity.
So every cloud can indeed have a silver lining. QED.