Follow the footsteps of our journey…
MoveMakers as a project, was a 2-year journey that included 3 “official” meet-ups and many more as we felt the need to connect and co-create together. As the end of the project is drawing closer, we have looked back to see what happened on each step of the journey and what have we learned from it. And of course… the project may finish, but the journey to discover and prototype what innovation in education is all about will, continue.
LAB 1 – How to co-initiate MoveMakers LAB learning journey?
Netherlands (Schoorl/Dopersduin). Hosted by Dock20, 22 – 28 March 2015.
LAB 1 was the start of the common learning journey with all the participants. During the LAB we spend time building relationships, exploring the field of education using our respective realities as a starting point and visit a broad pallet of educational initiatives in the Netherlands.
LAB1 embraced participatory leadership as its working approach, so that participants could plant the seeds to co-create a sustainable learning community. The program was a combination of excursions, deep dialogue and individual/team reflection around the fundamental issues that each country is dealing with in education. The intense program was designed and co-hosted by the project core group through active engagement of participants.
After spending a full week together, most participants agreed that in order to create sustainable change and innovate in education, educators need to slow down, place more focus on the process and create space for reflection.
Some lessons learned
- We learned on the way, again, to take time to learn about people – the learners – who join the journey. We jumped too quickly into BIG questions, looking for insights and trying to understand “innovation in education”. We knew less about EACH OTHER – our struggles, questions, field of work.
- We overplanned. Too many sessions, too little time to really focus and dig deep. Sometimes less is actually more.
Some confusion, “inching along” and not-knowing was left in the air. Thus something unplanned wanted to happen along the way – a new meeting – LABx Berlin. Organised and self-hosted by whoever wanted to meet again.
LABx Berlin – City as a learning space
During the first weekend of July 2015 a dozen MoveMakers met up in Berlin. The long weekend was designed as a sensing journey into Berlin – experiencing the city space, meeting the different organizations and individuals active in education innovation and having dialogues with the activists connecting the city space with learning.
As part of the learning journey we visited an exhibition about the Black Mountain College, an experiment in education in US from 1933-1957. We realised that a lot of the needs for change that we see today had already been spoken of and experimented with three-quarters of a century ago. What does it take to make it happen on a larger scale? And why did the Black Mountain College initiative not survive? These were the questions that the participants were left with from the Berlin meeting.
LAB 2 – How we can co-create and prototype meaningful learning experiences?
Denmark (Nørgaards Højskole). Hosted by Kaospilots, 4.- 10. October 2015.
At the core of LAB 2 was giving shape to some of the ideas that emerged during the journey. This LAB focused on sharing insights on learning and designing education. We started to crystallise parts of our findings and views on learning. In the name of MoveMakers, several prototypes were developed to be further tested before meeting again at LAB3 in April, 2016. The prototypes were introduced to Kaospilot students for sharp and clear feedback.
Besides working as a group on prototypes, we got input and inspiration from the Danish context. We spent time with Folk High School and Kaospilots students, pioneers in education, as well visiting the Energy Academy on Samsøe Island. Simon Kavanagh, facilitator at Kaospilots, challenged us to give shape to our ideas quickly and introduced us some core elements of education design, for example, the learning arches.
Some lessons learned
- We learned to be lost, both in not-knowing and chaos. We were struggling… On one hand, we tried to focus on the prepared content of the program, including having real work done and creating prototypes. On the other hand, deepening our essence as MoveMakers and finding our identity was also important. The connection to the MoveMakers was becoming stronger. We started to ask more deeply – who are we and what are we actually doing?
- Some of us are ready to start bringing ideas alive. Others need more time. Prototyping, indeed, is an art and it takes some practice.
LAB 3 – What have we learned and how to take it further?
Estonia (Männiku, Viljandimaa). Hosted by Ruumiloojad 24.- 28. April 2016.
Our learning journey was reaching its final destination. We invited people to share their learnings about their prototypes developed during the MoveMakers LAB learning journey. We looked at the whole journey and mapped the highlights of the experience. We explored together our future and possible next steps.
We opened our program for the wider community: MoveMakers Walk was a 2-hour meeting with the element of “walk” as a simple way to connect and explore important questions on innovation, education and learning. The inspirational meet-ups – both in Telliskivi Creative City (Tallinn) and Männiku Cottage (Viljandimaa) – brought together 28 people.
Some lessons learned
- We were closing our common learning journey with a more reflective note. Although reflection is important for learning to happen and to create new meaning, it can also be very tiring. When is the time to reflect and the time to act?
- Although we aimed to co-create space for everybody to learn and contribute, there were certainly people who felt left behind. It is still a big ideal to shape a learning space where we actually reach everybody. The question remains: what is the responsibility of the learner then, to step in?
You can read more from the book “MoveMakers on the Move: the Story of Our Learning Journey”, to be published online in September, 2016