Newton Room education has a bifocal goal:
- Having visited a Newton Room, students should have attained a high learning outcome.
The education in a Newton room should constantly focus on the contents of the students’ learning. Activities and methods are carefully chosen based on this. In the Newton Room the students have time to delve deeply into the subject matter, time for reflection, time to develop understanding of the subject through practical activities and theory, and to discover connections between these. In this way, we facilitate in-depth learning. For the best possible learning outcome, we choose activities that are interconnected and well-integrated with theory.
- Having visited a Newton Room, students should have a sense of great learning experiences.
Examples of good learning experiences are: sense of achievement, enthusiasm, discovering a new area of interest, positive experiences of co-operation, a pleasant encounter with the Newton teacher, eye-opening experiences, the chance to work with fascinating equipment, or good effort and motivation to learn.
In order to reach these objectives, we have the following principles for education in Newton Rooms.
Practical, variation and exploratory methods of work
- Practical – The education in a Newton Room should focus on practical activities where students have access to concrete materials and equipment that enhance the learning objective. The equipment is often different from that which is found in traditional classrooms. In the Newton Room there are enough resources for everyone, and all the students should be active and “hands-on” participants. Student activity also includes active participation in discussions or conversations. The practical activities are designed with the learning outcome of the session in mind.
- Variation – The education in a Newton Room should be varied in terms of methods, equipment, tasks and place of work. Variation throughout the day will ensure learning outcome for students, regardless of their starting point and motivation.
- Exploration – The assignments given in the Newton Room should be Low Threshold High Ceiling. Such tasks are exploratory and have multiple solutions or strategies. The students can create their own challenges and strategies, collect information, and analyse. In the Newton Room the students work on problem solving and there is time for curiosity and discussion about strategies.
Discussion, conversation and reflection
An important factor in the process of in-depth learning, is productive dialogue between Newton teacher and students, as well as amongst students. In the Newton room there is sufficient time to allow students to use scientific terminology, argue their case, reflect and choose strategies. Using scientific terminology is important for learning. Students participate actively in discussions, and a well-planned discussion can function as an activity in a Newton module. Good dialogues help the Newton teacher secure good learning processes and reach conclusions in conjunction with the students.
Collaboration and Team work
Students work together in the Newton Room. Collaboration is a skill for the future, hence the students always work in groups or pairs in the Newton Room. Learning is reinforced during interaction and conversation. The Newton teacher facilitates good interaction, providing clear tasks and guidance in establishing good working relationships.
Relevance is key in multiple aspects of education in the Newton Room
- Relevant to the curriculum - All modules in the Newton Room is deeply rooted in the national curriculum.
- Relevant to local community and local industry - Many modules are closely linked to the local community – businesses, natural environment, conflict of interest etc.
- Relevant to the students’ lives and knowledge capital - Newton Room education should be connected to real-life issues and things that students are familiar with. The students should be able to perceive the activities as useful and important to them.
- Relevant equipment - The equipment used for activities in the Newton Room, should be appropriate to reach the learning objectives.
- Relevant for the future - The students will be challenged to work with learning matters relevant for the future, e.g. connecting knowledge from different sources/resources, data interpretation, critical thinking and moral reasoning, scientific methods and mindset, digital problem solving, understanding connection between subjects/subject areas, social skills.
The quality in the Newton Room should be in the form of:
- Quality in education – there should be a focus on good education in the Newton Room. Our goal is to provide exemplary education. This implies that the Newton teacher emphasizes good content and good didactical adaption, implementation and evaluation. Our module plans are quality checked.
- Quality in facilities – Visually and physically, the Newton Room should appear as an appealing learning environment. The Newton Room is a place of inspiration. Equipment and concrete materials should be relevant and exciting.
- Quality in management and network – The Newton Room should be well-established with the local authorities. Good quality framework conditions ensure better tuition.