Last December I had the good fortune to do some training and consultancy at the Cooks Hill Big Picture School.
What an experience! This style of learning has none of the constraints of the regular power imbalance that exists between teacher and student. The teachers and students meet on equal footing as students explore their research interest. Students are held accountable for the choices they make in areas such as time management, work presentation and research paths. Teachers are there as facilitators and advisors. Teachers use an adept style of questioning and suggesting in the communication exchanges and experience some occasional frustration when students struggle with the responsibility for their own learning.
This horizontal power arrangement is an organisational trend in many areas of our society. The old pedagogical style of
‘sit down and listen because the teacher has all the answers ‘ has past it’s use by date .
Check out http://www.bigpicture.org.au/mdactivity/999