The Place of Music in 21st Century Education –Northern Beaches Christian School, Sidney, Australia
The Northern Beaches Christian School, Sydney, Australia, seems to have found the perfect combination of teaching & learning experience, embedding technologies into a sustainable learning environment, that is designed to optimized the students’ experience.
The Director of Innovation, Steve Collis, underlines that learning is profoundly social, yet the students experience outside the school environments is deeply shaped by a massive use of technologies, among which mobile phone devices. This factor must be taken under consideration when designing and providing learning experiences, as one cannot underestimate the impacts of the flattened world the students live in.
With anthropologists arguing human intelligence has become wider and collective, as a consequence to the daily opportunity of media interaction and exposure through the social-media networks connectivity, it is imperative to consider how the technological revolution can best be harnessed to improve teaching and learning.
But what does it truly mean to foster innovation, while providing cultural landscapes in teaching? To some extent, I believe gaining a better understanding of technologies, and their use, can help the students achieving a higher control of their lives. Yet, the learning offer should be designed around the person, having an holistic approach, fostering the stimulation of the wide scope of perceptions. As the Director Steve Collins describes, you design physical space along the principles I’ve spoken about, then technological space, and actually finally you shape cultural space as well.
Moreover, as mentioned by the music teachers Brad Fuller, and Peter Orenstein, the students experience an inspirational space. Students are divided into music bands, which is, in my opinion, one of the strongest elements to consider. This methodology enhance the opportunity of collaboration between members, it flattens hierarchical matters, thus enables students to take control of they journey through learning. While they can access technologies in exciting ways, they experience the old ways of making music, performing on stage, and interact between peers.
I believe this philosophy and methodology might be applied to several academic courses with successful outcomes. To some extent the NBCS embodies, in my view, every student’s dream to be protagonist in their journey into school, while collecting one of those memorable experiences, that may last a life time… just like in the movie: School of Rock! And isn’t this the best gift of education?
School of Rock, 2003, starring Jack Black. here is a Video clip
Northern Beaches Christian School is an independent non-denominational Christian co-educational primary and secondary day school, located in Terrey Hills, New South Wales, Australia