Are you a Learner or Learned?

Today I attended the first session of PLP ConnectU project. This project, sponsored by the Victoria Education Department (DEECD) is run by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. The project offers year long, job-embedded professional development that helps teachers to re-envision their classrooms, schools, and their roles in education.

Five reasons why I enjoyed the day…

  • Will and Sheryl were incredibly inspiring and engaging presenters.
  • Being in a room full of like minded educators is refreshing and exciting.
  • Being encouraged to multitask by back-channelling and tweeting during the presentations definitely suited my learning style!
  • Instead of just talking about the big picture ideas, we will be working on a collaborative project with other participants throughout the year. A great mix of theory and action.
  • The PD didn’t end at 3:30pm. We have five Elluminate sessions and one more face-to-face session for the year. There will also be a lot of online collaboration via our wiki, Ning and Twitter.

Will and Sheryl offered so much “food for thought”, however one quote that really stuck with me came from Will’s presentation. This was a quote by American writer on social issues, Eric Hoffer, from his book “Reflections on the Human Condition” (1973). Eric Hoffer was born over a century ago, however his words still ring true today.

Eric Hoffer Quote

To me, this quote says so much about the importance of students learning from and with others, inside and outside of the classroom, during and after their time at school.

It also illustrates the importance of teachers being lifelong learners. A day doesn’t go by where I am not actively pursuing my own learning via Twitter, blogs, research, networking, email, collaboration, podcasts, webcasts, Skype etc. I am constantly amazed that the philosophy of professional development being “done to you” or “given to you” is still so prevalent.

How many teachers are there out there who are equipped to teach in a classroom that no longer exists?

The world is our classroom and we have billions of people to learn from and with. How exciting!

What do you think of Hoffer’s quote?

13 Replies to “Are you a Learner or Learned?”

  1. Love that quote Kathleen…and how true. Would love to have it cut from vinyl and up on the wall in my new Library….wouldn’t that be awesome!!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Linda, great idea! It’s so powerful 🙂

  2. Your 5 reasons resonate fully with me. I found my own experience with PLP changed me, strengthened me, to be the kind of teacher I had always wanted to be. I look forward to working with you!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Susan, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to working with you too 🙂

  3. Dear Kathleen,

    I would love to be part of this project. It sounds amazing and so great to connect and work with like minded people. Such a great quote and gets you thinking about how and what we teach. I am going to put in quote up in the staffroom and hopefully it will generate a discussion.

    I came across this link on twitter which I really liked.



    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Jodi,

      Thank you so much for your comment and for the link to the YouTube video. I love it! I think this model is great for some secondary classrooms. Unfortunately my grade twos will always need a lot of guidance but there are still ways of “flipping” the classroom, as the video puts it.

      Good idea putting the quote in the classroom!


  4. @Jessica_Dubois says: Reply

    I agree with the above posts. Awesome quote, will also be printing this out to spark discussion with our staff what we value in education and what we hope to achieve with our students.

    This project sounds like an amazing learning experience for you. I wonder if South Australia is doing anything similar? Will have to find out! Please keep us updated on how it goes this year and share any valuable information like the quote above with us. Love learning from you!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Jessica,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope your staff enjoy the quote as much as we did!

      We’re so lucky that our department is paying for this program. I am not sure if SA has anything similar, however both Will and Sheryl said they are available to present to schools. Check out the PLP website to find out details. Maybe your school or region could organise something sometime. I’d recommend it!


  5. Miss Kirby Goodey says: Reply

    Hi Kathleen,

    I’m really interested in possibly participating in the project, but can’t find anything about it on DEECD.

    Does your school fund your position or have you done it all on your own merit?


    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi Kirby,

      What a shame. The applications closed a few weeks ago. I should have blogged about it!

      It was available for all DEECD teachers. You submitted the application and DEECD chose. The school just had to fund your 2 CRT days. It was advertised on Global2 so keep an eye on the site.

      Hopefully they’ll run it again next year!


      1. Miss Kirby Goodey says: Reply

        Bummer! I’ll keep an eye out for your updates on the project, and also on Global2.

        Thanks so much Kathleen!

  6. What a great blog. I’ve recently started a PLN of my own via twitter and a blog and I couldn’t agree with that quote more. It really is exciting and inspiring.

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Ashley,

      Thanks for your comemnts and your kind words. I’m so glad you have started with blogging and Twitter, you’ll love it!


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