In one of the most insightful books I’ve read on education, In Schools We Trust (if you haven’t read this gem, check it out from your library now!), Deborah Meier provides some wisdom from her extensive experience in cultivating positive learning environments that complement our last few posts (Planting Seeds and Educating for the Long Haul) on the necessity for a long-term perspective in education:
“. . . schools [that are learning communities] offer plenty of time for ideas to grow, and they don’t set rigid timetables. For some kids the aha’s are almost immediate; others require seemingly endless repetitions . . .”
“A school that is always rethinking basic premises creates unacceptable intellectual and moral disorder for kids and families. Sometimes it’s even worth sticking with the wrong consistencies for a while. In schools, as in classrooms and families, there are necessary routines and rituals. . . Caution is also required because we have all had very little, sometimes virtually no, experience with face-to-face democracy . . . so some of our efforts are clumsy out of sheer inexperience.”
Stability. Consistency. Sustainability. This is what creates a positive learning community for children.