I had the very fortunate luck of attending Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute last summer. One of the mini-sessions I attended was “Effective Professional Learning Communities: Supporting Learning in Staff Rooms and Classrooms” by Daniel Wilson. The session aimed at identifying the key features of learning communities while discussing the common roadblocks that impede progress.
Wilson created this helpful graphic to help us understand the languages that we use in learning groups. This chart summarizes, on a continuum, the ways in which people share ideas.
“Languages that support learning are most effective when they are in the moment portable across situations and focus on sharing, generating, integrating knowledge to solve problems. “
Group work is full of difficult paradoxes. What is important, though, is that each person understand, accept and embrace differences so that problems can ultimately be solved. The languages we use become the details that either make or break the process. Being honest with oneself is the first step toward progress.