Working with children is important work, but we have to recognise that it can be quite difficult and demanding. As the manager of the assessment centre I used to work at put it, child care work is not for the faint hearted. Given how challenging the work can be, it is vitally important that staff are well-equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and values. This makes learning an essential topic to focus on. But, is how we tend to go about learning the best way to address the issues involved?
The idea that learning should happen in a classroom with a knowledgeable person standing at the front and people in need of knowledge sitting facing him or her has been the dominant way of thinking literally for centuries. It tends to be the default setting, in the sense that this model is likely to be the first port of call for people whose responsibility it is to promote learning.