Learning through Lockdown

Posted: 28 July 2020

Tell me and I’ll forget.

Teach me and I’ll remember.

Involve me and I’ll learn”.

Benjamin Franklin

Being Round Square an international network of like-minded schools that has experiential learning at its heart, we believe that learning is much more significant and transformative when students are given the opportunity to discover and develop their unique profiles of passion and talents.

Learning by doing is about experiences that enable students to make discoveries, to accept failure as a part of the learning process and to become lifelong learners that will see the world as explorers always ready to be surprised.  As was reported on a recent article published by the ASCD in Service journal: “Students need to develop an understanding of their own role in the learning process and be expected and encouraged to see themselves more as agents, or ideally owners, of their own learning. For such ownership and agency to be developed students will need to assume greater responsibility, understand new expectations, and be introduced to this new or growing role in stages. Taking ownership, and agency, should be seen by both teachers and learners to be a process, and not the flicking of a switch”.

The lockdown that was implemented worldwide as a means of stopping the spread of COVID-19 faced schools with an unprecedented challenge: to develop their online learning platforms and be ready for virtual teaching, accordingly adjusting curriculums and timetables in an attempt to keep providing quality education and keep students engaged. Yet, if  “schooling must put students’ curiosity at the center of the teaching and learning process and make room for hands-on, playful,  and experiential learning (“Leapfrogging inequality. Remaking education to help young people thrive” by Rebecca Winthrop with Adam Barton and Eileen McGiverney) we might wonder how did schools manage to achieve this in times of lockdown and social distancing.

The experience of our schools around the world has provided enough evidence to show that the restriction of the physical environment turned out to be a unique opportunity to find creative and collaborative approaches to keep infusing the mindset, knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an interconnected world. These are only some examples of the way in which the Round Square IDEALS made their way through lockdown in the shape of collaborations, projects, forums and virtual meetings, amongst others:







There is no doubt that learning communities were strengthened and thrived during these past months, and that the bonding brought about by the need to connect with like minded schools will continue to grow strong in years to come.  As the above examples show, being part of a vibrant network is a great catalyst to creative approaches, a good source of virtual playmates, and a great way to share and celebrate all that is being achieved.

Creative partners can create a better world. Amazing and courageous global communities can do so as well.

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