March 5, 2018

Reflections and Transformative Experiences - Learning From and With Each Other

Blog Archives:

Canadian Learning Leader Robert Koole, assisted by Phocas Ngendahayo and Stephen Rudakemwa, are facilitating a biblical worldview and values module to a group of 19 educational leaders from Rwanda and Uganda at the Abundant Learning Institute (ALI) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Saturday February 24th was umuganda day in Rwanda – a day once a month when the entire country shuts down for four hours to take part in government-mandated community service. “Umuganda,” is a Kinyarwanda word that can be translated as “coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome.”

What a remarkable expression to illustrate the activity of 20 educational learners working together to enlarge each other’s understanding of the Good News for learning, for teaching, and for leading. Throughout the sessions, participants found themselves experiencing Biblical perspectives as “…both a mirror in which we see truth about ourselves and a window through which we see God and God’s world out there, past, present, and future.” (Smith and Shortt, The Bible and Education.) It’s been extraordinary work for five days and participants’ reflections best illustrate our accomplishments.

What content did you find the most compelling? 

  • The opening dialogue; it addresses me and how I look at the world in God’s image
  • The Bible as a ‘mirror’ and a ‘window’ –because it helps me to build both a better self-image and others’ image
  • Assessing to nurture growth; it challenged my way of thinking and I came to realize that it’s meaningful
  • Assessing to nurture growth was my favorite one because most of the time we thought assessment is judgement but now is all about grace, justice, and image of God as purpose of assessing

What did you appreciate most about how the module was delivered? 

  • I appreciate how facilitators helped learners to participate either in small groups and conversations and to allow everyone to be involved
  • The relevant examples that were given; the way of teaching.
  • Engagement of our head, heart, and mind to it. Involving and flow of the entire session
  • Different techniques used to help learners participate.

What did you find most relevant?

  • The whole was relevant because whatever we teach is based on God’s creation
  • How to apply the biblical perspective in lessons, vision leadership and assessment
  • Assessing to nurture growth; when assessment is handled well it helps us to focus the vision and it also leaves all the stakeholders included.

What did you learn in this course that will contribute most to your personal involvement in education system and your school community? 

  • Revisiting our mission statement, strengthening our community and adopting a better assessment strategy
  • I will revise the way we assess and evaluate to integrate other aspects
  • I have learnt to involve my staff in decision-making


Throughout the session, participants became what Roland Barth emphasizes as a central practice for principals: namely to be “leading learners,” engaging in, displaying, and modelling what they hope teachers and students will do.

“...a major responsibility of the adults in a community of learners is to engage actively in their own learning, to make their learning visible to others in the community, to enjoy and celebrate their learning, and to sustain it over time....”



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