Progressive Education at Kingsmead College, Johannesburg
In the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa, a unique educational workshop took place at Kingsmead College. This workshop was part of the Thinking Schools South Africa project, an initiative aimed at fostering innovative pedagogical approaches in schools across the country. The participants were a diverse group of educators from both government and independent schools, all united by a common goal: to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in education.
The workshop was a testament to the global nature of education, highlighting the fascinating differences and similarities between school systems around the world. As an international facilitator, I was warmly welcomed by the participants, who were eager to learn and share their experiences. Their enthusiasm and dedication were truly inspiring, reflecting the progressive ethos of the schools they represented.
One of the key themes of the workshop was making learning visible. This concept, rooted in the principles of metacognition and dual coding, emphasizes the importance of helping students understand their own learning processes. By making learning visible, teachers can better support students in their educational journey, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.
We also delved into practical classroom strategies designed to encourage students to take a more active role in their learning. These strategies were centered around enquiry-based learning, a pedagogical approach that promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. According to a study titled "Supporting learners’ experiment design" published in the journal of Educational Technology Research and Development, enquiry-based learning allows learners to actively construct knowledge by engaging in multiple phases of inquiry, including formulating research questions, conducting experiments, and communicating their findings[^1^].
Another important aspect of the workshop was the sharing of best practices. This collaborative approach allowed us to learn from each other's experiences and insights, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. We explored ways to optimize enquiry-based learning throughout the curriculum, focusing on how to make learning purposeful and meaningful.