In our work, our parenting or our teaching of children, we want children to always respect us, but never to fear us. (Walker, Kathy 2010)
Walker Learning is the first and only major published teaching and learning approach to have been developed in Australia by Australians. It is implemented across Australia in public and independent schools but in many countries across the world including New Zealand, Indonesia, and China. Walker Learning is in its 21st year of implementation and is designed for children from birth to 14 years of age.
Walker Learning foundations is in the mix and balance of explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy drawing upon children's own interests and lives to make literacy and numeracy meaningful and relevant to culture and the individual. Walker Learning provides a balance of children actively investigating a range of skills and experiences for life either through planned play or projects (once they reach middle childhood).
Walker Learning provides experiences to develop skills for life including:
These skills for life work alongside skills of literacy, numeracy, the arts, science and other curriculum areas and are placed within the individual interests, collective culture and communities of the children and their families. Walker Learning uses evidence from how children develop neurologically, developmentally and through the influences of culture and family, to set up the learning environment to reflect indoor and outdoor learning and places and spaces that reflect calm but stimulating range of investigations and places to explore, experiment and learn.
Walker Learning places an emphasis upon relationships between teacher and child and family. It views the child holistically and values emotional and social life as important as the academic. Walker Learning aims to deinstitutionalize the notion of traditional schooling whilst retaining and reflecting evidence based research that suggests strongly that children require the mix of explicit instruction and active exploration of their environment based upon learning experiences that reflect their own culture, environment and community.
Walker Learning recognises that sustained motivation for learning comes from within and that meaningful assessment is not the ranking of one child against another but the constant reflection of where one was, where they have grown and attained and where they are heading.
Walker Learning values highly the freedom to express and explore one's own ideas alongside the need to consider the views and perspectives, experiences and knowledge of others both past and present. Walker Learning believes that technology is a powerful and useful tool to assist and never to lead. It can be used to create but never to replace the creative imaginations of young minds.
Walker Learning is a pedagogy NOT a program or a tool
Walker Learning is a holistic approach to teaching to the whole of a child and committed to developing children who can think for themselves and for others, can create and imagine, who are strong in their literacy and numeracy, and who can navigate the challenges of the world with intrinsic motivation and a strength of character made of a strong sense of self and resilience.