‘Reimagine learning’: progressive pedagogy at Dunalastair Schools in Chile
Our Group Education Director, Dr. Simon Camby, recently spent some time visiting Dunalastair Schools in Santiago, Chile. We were delighted to welcome Dunalastair to our global community earlier this year. Here, Simon reflects on his trip and the remarkable impression that our students made on him.
I recently spent some time visiting Dunalastair School in Santiago, Chile. The purpose of my visit was simple – to listen and watch. In each conversation, I learned. It was obvious that I was visiting a school with a distinct history and a school that thinks deeply about everything they do.
I visited each of the three Dunalastair campuses and toured all areas of each campus with student guides. The students were incredible young people with clear views and insight. A standout feature was their deep and articulate understanding of the pedagogy in the school, beyond anything that is usual for students.
Dunalastair began designing and defining its bespoke approach to pedagogy in 2016, now embedded in each aspect of the school. The concept of ‘reimagine learning’ defines the Dunalastair approach. The school has clear intent in defining progression and increasing challenge. The curriculum is broad and deep, moving to greater specialism for older students. The approach adopts a progressive pedagogy and integrates all requirements of the Chilean national curriculum. Further detail on the Dunalastair approach can be found here.
Many schools around the world have clearly thought through plans for both curriculum and pedagogy. What is impressive here is the way that students explain the approach and also reflect on their learning. The comments below from their students evidence this.
‘We know that we are not like many other schools. We learn from a young age that learning is about exploring and being curious.’
‘The curriculum is important, we need to curriculum to take examinations. But alongside the curriculum is the really important learning. We work in project teams and have defined roles. These roles change over time. We learn to work in different roles. The curriculum prepares us for exams. Working in teams prepares us for life.’
‘Our school is like society, we are a mixed community. Our work in teams helps us to prepare to work with many kind of people. Sometimes you are the leader, sometimes you are not. But you can always make a contribution.’
The Cognita Framework for all of our schools focuses on delivering a Holistic Education. Within this, we expect each of our schools to have: ‘An evidence-informed pedagogical framework that embeds responsive teaching and academic rigour’. Without doubt, Dunalastair students evidence that this is a living experience for them and they can see the benefits of this to them as global learners.