As I began my course on "Multiage Learning" I was drawn to this picture. My daughter is placing her hand firmly on a piece of clay that will forever immortalize her at this moment in time. The hands surrounding her are gently guiding her to where she needs to be, but not overpowering her so that cannot make her own mark. Essentially, this is what I think "Multiage Education" is all about. It is about each learner, not defined by age or grade levels or other arbitrary delineations. It is about looking at this one child, understanding where they are at this time and guiding them to move beyond this point.
Recently I watched a video about "Williston Central School" and how they set up the school. In the beginning of the video the initial conversation was "What would be your ideal school?" The question left me breathless. "I know, I know... it would have this, and this, and this," I thought to myself.
However, the lessons learned from the successes of this school (and perhaps the failures of others) is that multiage learning is a commitment of all of the stakeholders. It requires much planning, much meeting of the minds, and an openness to real change.
I will continue to post my thoughts as they evolve on this subject and include some work that I have previously posted in another venue for my university studies on this subject. Also, I would like to note that I have posed the question, "What would be your ideal school?" to my colleagues. I will post their replies in a tab so that others visions so that it might be a starting point for discussion for others.