Sharing our Conceptual Framework

Sharing our Conceptual Framework

By Merril Miceli

What does it take to start a learning community? Is it an inspired mission and vision? Or a commitment to innovative teaching and learning? Or perhaps it is dependent on the ability to organize a community?

It takes all of these attributes to begin a learning community, and more. Learn at Morse Hill began with the courage to ask “What if…” from Corinne Shaw. Corinne shared her idea with her mother and Morse Hill Director Victoria Shaw and close friends. These early conversations inspired the seeds of action, and soon the community of Learn at Morse Hill took form. As Corinne and her co-founder Kristen Rhodes put pen to paper, the following mission and vision for Learn at Morse Hill become clear.

"To provide nature based, experiential learning to support growth of the whole child by creating a safe, supportive, inspiring environment that fosters natural inquiry, problem solving, and deep relationships with nature and the school community."

When a school or organization grows, it needs rich soil to support it’s growth. The mission statement above is the soil that is nourishing a curriculum which honors the child as well as the community, balances content-area learning as well as transdisciplinary learning, and cultivates the notion of life-long learning by engaging in authentic inquiry outdoors.

You might be wondering, what does that curriculum look like? It begins with a shared lens and common language. Our society needs citizens who value healthy communication, are natural inquirers, creative thinkers, take action and lead others in taking action to care for their community and environment, and have a growth mindset throughout their life. At Learn at Morse Hill we value integrating these transdisciplinary skills along with content-area learning. Through authentic inquiry-based experiences on the land of Morse Hill we are able to find this balance.

Learn at Morse Hill Conceptual Framework

So how will we use the Framework and Learner Profile (image below)? We are beginning by introducing these ideas to our learning community. In fact, this writing is an important part of sharing our guiding beliefs with current and future families of Learn at Morse Hill. The Learning Facilitators are introducing this lens and shared language with their students through a lens of inquiry. We are curious what children think about the transdisciplinary areas we deem most important. Do they feel the same? Does the language resonate with students? Just as we are nurturing a culture of inquiry with our students, we value embedding inquiry in our professional learning community as well. And finally, over time you will notice the language of the Framework and Learner Profile being represented in documentation that comes home via Seesaw. We will be linking feedback to these areas of growth, just as we will connect to, and provide feedback in content-areas.

Growing a learning community is a collaborative, inquiry-based process. We are thankful for the rich soil that is providing the perfect environment for growth over time. We value all feedback from our community and would love to hear your feedback as well. Please feel free to reach out to share ideas, ask questions, or engage in shared inquiry together!