A human-centred school is a community of persons. This inevitably involves radically rethinking a school’s identity and the nature of its culture. This process of rethinking will vary according to the specific circumstances of each school, but there are some common key aspects to all human centred learning communities:
- Students, staff and other stakeholders have a strong sense of ‘we-ness’ and belonging. Because of this, they feel a responsibility towards each other and towards the betterment of the school.
- All members know and respect one another, adults and young people alike. Such intimate knowledge and mutual respect are the fruit of interaction through collaborative learning activities, dialogues, community meetings and fora.
- All persons in the community recognise that learning is to become more fully human. This awareness of a school’s purpose and the aims of education is vitally important for the realisation of a shared culture.
- There is a close partnership with parents and others within the wider community whose participation is of pivotal importance for students’ learning and development. Parents themselves may also learn and grow as they participate in the life of the school community.
For more information on the kinds of practical features core to a learning community, see What is a Learning Community Like?