“We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.”
~Lyndon B. Johnson
Co-Creating a Temporary Learning Community
A learning-community is defined as a group of people who share common emotions, values or interests and are actively engaged in learning together and from each other. Such communities have become the template for a cohort-based, interdisciplinary approach to alternative education.
Co-Creating – A term borrowed from the marketing & business world, meaning the process of encouraging and facilitating an active involvement from all engaged parties during any single transition, to jointly create a value rich experience.
Temporary – Not permanent; provisional, lasting only a short time.
Learning- Learning is acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences, and may involve synthesizing different types of information.
Community– Community referring to a settlement larger than a small village that shares common values.
Natural Learning -Natural learning brings the focus back to the nature of the learner, allowing interests to guide actions, non-actions, pursuits, and life as an integrated and recognized part of learning.
Project World School
The nature of co-creating a “temporary” learning community is very intentional. It will only exist in a certain point in time, and will rely on all of its participants to come together and breathe life into it. Somewhat within the vein of other temporary communities such as Burning Man, which comes together to form an actual city of a half a million people in the desert for one week. The magic happens in a intentional singular point in time, but the effects remain for a lifetime.
The benefits of creating a learning community are countless. The primary distinction is experienced through collaboration influencing the overall learning experience.
We are a true believers of social learning. We have noticed on our travels, when we have shared experiences with a group of other people, everyone spontaneously contributes through conversation, observation and sharing previously acquired knowledge. These social learning experiences are lasting, transforming the “natural learning” into a meaningful social activity.
Our temporary learning communities includes intentional social learning, immersive cultural experiences, team work and leadership activities and opportunities for deep interpersonal development.
Traditional learning communities have been experimented with throughout the world. Wikipedia says this about them:
“Community psychologists state that there are four key factors that defined a sense of community: “(1) membership, (2) influence, (3) fulfillment of individuals needs and (4) shared events and emotional connections. So, the participants of a learning community must feel some sense of loyalty and belonging to the group (membership) that drive their desire to keep working and helping others, also the things that the participant do in must affect what happened in the community, that means, an active and not just a reactive performance (influence). Besides a learning community must give the chance to the participants to meet particular needs (fulfillment) by expressing personal opinions, asking for help or specific information and share stories of events with particular issue included (emotional connections) emotional experiences.”
Project World School is committed to its core to co-creating a dynamic temporary learning community that supports and fulfills the needs of each of its participants and creates strong emotional connections to one another, learning and the environment.
Areas of Focus
Although each retreat we produce takes place in a different country and offers distinctly different activities based on that retreat’s focus, every learning community we produce focuses on 3 areas of learning:
Social & Interpersonal Development
Every community dedicates a portion its day to reflect as a group. Activities have been developed to encourage viewing the world through a different lens, trying on new perspectives, sample a global point of view that extend beyond the personal self.
Areas of focus are:
• conflict resolution
• global citizenship
• transpersonal development
Creating a safe and encouraging environment to grow on a personal level is one of the cornerstones of the Project World School philosophy. We have designed activities that challenge encouraging each participant to step outside of their comfort zones.
Areas of focus are:
• cultural sensitivity
• empathic action
True to the unschooling philosophy, we don’t break down life by subjects. However, each retreat has been built surrounding a main theme, guided by our host country and the environment. We have designed each retreat to have a multidisciplinary approach usually combining two or more areas of focus. For example, we have examined astronomy of the Southern Hemisphere while exploring the mythology and history guiding the intricate belief systems. All academics are immersive and experiential and are designed to be participatory.
Although each retreat has specific activities, general areas of focus are:
Be sure to read more about our mission on the About page here.