Transformative Workshop

Transformative Workshop

By Federico Gerhardinger, LS Arts Teacher e Digital Learning Coach

During the school year H-FARM International School Rosà organises some workshops open to student families, where parents were not only observers but active participants in the activities organised by their children. These initiatives are enthusiastically received by the parents, offering an interesting perspective on sharing and learning extended to the entire school community.

Thinking of the school in terms of community, we can recognize within it certain groups of people and roles: students, teachers, administrators, parents, staff. This distinction describes the official relationships within the school well, but it does not allow us to exploit the potential of informal exchanges that traverse the school community.

The limitation of this distinction into categories and roles is that it widens certain fractures and distances that exist in the school community almost by constitution. Particularly, the category of parents is often confined outside the school, limiting exchanges mostly to teacher meetings and school performances: extremely codified moments that proceed according to a preset script. While the importance and beauty of certain school life rituals are unquestionable, we cannot give up the pursuit of more authentic exchanges.

Hence, we can use different “ways and times of learning” to achieve those more authentic exchanges that truly make the school a community in the highest and most beautiful sense of the word. Our school’s pedagogy uses the tool of Learning Units (UdA) structured around a real-world task: learning designed in this way materialises into a mass of interdisciplinary experiences, laboratory activities, and products. The real-world task is not complete unless it results in a real event. In the case of International Safer Internet Day, for example, the event took the form of a workshop open to parents, allowing the construction of a moment of great community participation and realising a bidirectional exchange of experiences, reflections, emotions.

The workshop is a moment of authentic work, characterised by an unpredictable component. Unlike a showcase, where the contents displayed are selected and presented neatly, in a workshop, the contents emerge as the work is brought to completion. This type of activity develops and exercises social and entrepreneurial skills; there are no mistakes per se since everything that happens is part of the normal workflow. The goal shifts from an ideal vision of the project to its realisation in concrete terms, with all the constraints and limitations of reality.

During a workshop, the previously mentioned categories dissolve to give space to community members in a total reshuffling of roles: students become facilitators of learning processes, parents and many teachers become learners, and activities blur roles to highlight relationships.

In conclusion, the workshops held at H-FARM International School in Rosà have shed light on a vision of the school as a place of authentic encounter, where relationships manifest in their purest honesty and simplicity. In this context, parents, teachers, and students had the opportunity to experience the school not only as an educational space but as an environment where they can deeply understand the teaching and learning processes that occur daily.

This has enabled parents to gain a more complete and satisfying view of their children’s educational journey; teachers to see students not only as pupils but as individuals capable of being active protagonists in front of a wider audience; students to recognize their own potential within an educational system that values their central role.

These events have thus marked a significant step towards transforming the school into a vibrant and dynamic community, where learning translates into sharing and collective growth.

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