Learnlife Blog

Impuls digital: Inspiring a passion for learning in Catalunya

Learnlife trained over 85 educators in passion-based learning, promoting learner-centred education and innovation in 10 schools in Catalunya.

Learnlife is Officially Accredited as an International Secondary School

We are thrilled to share that Learnlife’s Secondary Programme at the Urban Hub is now recognised as an officially accredited...

Rwanda: Lessons in Resilience, Community & Hope

Learnlife's transformative Rwanda trip offers learners a rare opportunity to build deep cultural and socio-emotional learning.

Hacking the State Curriculum with Passion Projects

Learnlife's training helped Acesco modernise and bring innovative approaches into their state curriculum, increasing learner motivation and satisfaction.

Nurturing Learner Autonomy in the Classroom: A Guide to the Stages of Autonomy

Preparing children to become independent, autonomous learners is crucial in today's ever-changing world. The Stages of Autonomy guide learners along the path to independence, empowering them to navigate any challenges that come their way.

A Human-centred Approach to Secondary Maths

Learnlife's human-centred approach to secondary maths transforms the conventional classroom paradigm into a dynamic, personalised and purposeful learning adventure.

Staging Success: The Transformative Power of Mentorship

Mentoring at Learnlife serves as a cornerstone for fostering personalised learning experiences and holistic development. 

Empowering Neurodiverse Learners: Learnlife’s Pathfinders Programme

The Pathfinders programme, catering to neurodiverse learners, is a unique offering in Barcelona for those who need extra support.

Learnlife Intensives: Nurturing Holistic Growth

Learnlife's transformative Intensives immerse learners in focused, collaborative learning, fostering real-world skills and holistic growth.

Unveiling the Power of 360° Learning Assessments

We explore how these learner-led assessments help to grow more independent, well-rounded learners.

Onwards. Always Onwards.

Dr Stephen Harris shares his reflections on a turbulent year and challenges us to view VUCA as a solution, not just a challenge.

Meet Claudio: Learnlife’s Design Alchemist Crafting Creativity and Connection

Meet Claudio, one of Learnlife’s passionate studio experts, who orchestrates a symphony of cross-disciplinary learning daily. He moulds spaces where creativity thrives, inspiring learners to explore and develop a fusion of diverse skill sets while building their personal learning journey.

Five Fonts of Inspiration for Educators, Leaders and Edupreneurs

What inspires us? Enjoy five fonts of inspiration for educators, leaders and edupreneurs hand-picked by our team.

Empowering Education Through Passion-based Learning

Learnlife's "Passion-Based Learning" programme is training 90 teachers across 10 schools in Catalunya to transform classrooms into student-centred learning environments.

Meet Maiju: Finding his Path and Discovering his Strengths

Meet Maiju, an Educational Intern who's inspiring positivity at Learnlife and discovering his talents.

Overcoming Adversity and Embracing Unschooling

In the face of challenges posed by the global pandemic and a life-threatening illness, Jude embraced an unschooling approach to her child's education and discovered Learnlife, a learning environment that allowed her daughter to thrive. 

Let’s get real: Why human-centred learning is vital to success

Less than 50% of the world’s children are on track to develop the skills they need to thrive. So what skills do children need, and how can they stay ahead of the curve? 

Eco Hub Wins Green Award for Environmental Impact

Our Eco Hub has won the Low-Tech Prize in the Green Solutions Awards 2022-2023 in recognition of the Hub's positive environmental impact.

Storm's Learnlife Story: Personal growth, passion discovery & fulfilling dreams

Storm recounts his unique Learnlife journey as he took the unconventional route of non-traditional education. While initially confronted with feelings of sadness and self-doubt, he embraced the change, leading to personal growth, self-discovery, and the fulfilment of his dreams.

Inspiring change, one school leader at a time

Learnlife welcomes educators from around the world for Inspire, an event that aims to ignite learning innovation.

The Future of Learning - A letter to Learnlife

Learnlife was founded with the mission to positively impact education worldwide. As part of this global movement, we collaborate with educators, learning innovators and thought leaders to inspire positive change.

The Future School : A thinkpiece summary

We recently posted about a hugely influential thinkpiece published by the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership, in which Valerie Hannon discusses the nature of "The Future School". Learnlife was included as a reference point in this study, but we found the overall approach to be of great interest and provocation for discussion.

Alternatives to university - time to change the narrative

Work hard at school, go to further or higher education and get a better job. This assumed sequence of events would be so familiar to most of us that we might be forgiven for actually believing it.

ChatGPT and the application of A.I. in education: prompts and possibilities

Are you a late adopter? Analogue at heart but reluctantly present in a digital world? By now, even the most staunchly tech-averse among us will have heard of ChatGPT and had their curiosity piqued. Just what can it do, and could I actually use it in a learning environment? What are the potential applications of such A.I. in education?

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The opportunities for AI in education

As ChatGPT becomes more ubiquitous in society, it also presents an opportunity for educators to think collectively about the potential of AI in education.

Community Learning - Not Your Typical Afterschool Programmes

As far as we have been able to find out, afterschool clubs, or extra-curricular activities, were introduced in the 19th century. The original aims differ slightly depending on the context, but generally speaking, this offer tended to expose young learners to a broader range of experiences than they might get in the “typical” school day. 

Learning Methodologies Unpacked: Passion-based Learning

Passion based learning is one of the elements of learning innovation that we are most…well…passionate about. Passion is the reason for learning, the core of ikigai, and the thing that makes the whole process of learning so organic. But what is it exactly, and is this something which is core or complementary to learning?

Learning Methodologies Unpacked: Sustainability-based learning towards a regenerative world

Sustainability-based learning means equipping learners with the skills to meet challenges and innovate solutions that improve the human condition and protect the natural resources of the planet through regenerative approaches in designing learning experiences.

Learnlife selected in the top 100 global innovations in education

Learnlife has just been recognized as one of the top 100 education innovations to watch in the year 2023 by HundrED.org! We are humbled and honoured to have been recognised for our work in learning innovation, alongside such a rich community of global changemakers.

Thriving together on the learning journey

Mainstream education has long been reluctant to be seen to give “advice” on parenting, but what happens when we approach this differently? What about when we accept that we are all products of our own experience, and all have our own unique contributions to make so that, together, we can support our learners to thrive. Learning is life-wide, so why not embrace parents as partners and equals in the learning journey, and share in it together?

Outlier no more; the call to Inspire change in education

From outliers and individuals to a cohesive movement and a force for positive change. Momentum is building to bring change into the heart of mainstream education. As part of this, we have our own learning journey to share and years of impact evidence to support it. If you have ever wondered how our approach might work in your own setting, Inspire 2023 on 18th-19th May is the chance to visit us and our partners to dig deep into that question and find a community that can support you on your own transformational journey.

Reimagining 2050: the learning environment in a VUCA world

Future skills and 21st century learning for a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. In education, we are immersed in such framing and terminology as we develop learner-directed and purposeful learning approaches to support the emergence of a new generation who can actually thrive in the future. 

Learning by doing in Learnlife Marketplace

We have all heard that “experience is the best teacher” but if that is true, then why do we make the same mistakes again in our lives? Learning by doing is more than just “having” an experience, when rich learning and reflection opportunities are built around that experience. The Learnlife Marketplace is an event, a process, an experience and an ongoing, evolving celebration of what happens when we get to work from a place of passion and purpose. But what exactly is it all about?

Nature-based learning for literacy and numeracy

We have lost connection with our natural world, and taken a wrong turn somewhere. But for our children, we can begin to repair this and retake our place as part of the living world. And you know what? We can learn a lot of great stuff along the way. Here’s how we do it.

Stages of learner autonomy- the Learnlife way

What does “autonomy” mean to you? It really is a glorious word, which speaks of the freedom not only to captain our own ship, but the confidence to enter new waters and explore under our own sail.

Why we talk about learning methodologies

In discussions with our learning community we often hear the phrases “learning styles” and “teaching methodologies” used almost interchangeably with “learning methodologies”. These are not the same, though they can sound similar. Here’s why we talk about learning methodologies and why the difference really matters.

The neuroscience of unlearning

We had a lot of comments and discussion around our article on learn, unlearn and relearn. It seems that many in our community have personal experience around this process, and the diversity of these experiences fascinates us. So what is unlearning really about and why do we need to talk about it with learners?

As Learning Guides, are we truly ready for personal learning?

Psychotherapists go to therapy and surgeons rarely operate on themselves. As Learning Guides, should we not be asking ourselves whether we are truly ready to support personal learning? Just how deep does that role take us into our own sense of place and purpose?

Life-long learning needs good feedback, but how?

Feedback is critical to growth in lifelong learning, but the giving and receiving of feedback is far from simple. There are no answers in here, but there are questions for you, the reader. We would like your input, and we are listening.

Learning Methodologies Unpacked: Experience-based Learning

Experience-based learning is one of many learning methodologies that support personal learning. But what does it mean? How do we really learn from experience? Join us as we unpack this most fundamental question.

Cultural diversity and the gap between schools and learners

Kristin Leong’s Roll Call project in 2017 was a stark statement on the diversity gap between learners and teachers. Conducted in the USA, the project looked at the differences between public school teachers and learners, and asked two questions.

Blended learning can be so much more

Learning how, when and where you want it sounds like an advert for programmes designed by Artificial Intelligence. With a personal learning paradigm, however, blended learning can be so much more than bots and bytes. Read on to find out how Learnlife at Home is meeting this challenge in the most human of ways.

Learning Methodologies Unpacked: Place-Based Learning

The field trip. That day teachers dreaded as they had to corral 25 children onto a bus to visit the local museum or workplace. Some children would get lost, most would find opportunities for some kind of “unauthorised” fun, a bit of learning might take place, but it was probably mostly the fun we remember unless you were the teacher.

Essay Mills and the absence of personal learning

The Twittersphere is ablaze with the news that the UK, after Australia and Ireland, is set to ban essay mills. While the news is unsurprisingly welcome by mainstream institutions, there is remarkably little bold discussion about why it happens in the first place. Is personal learning the true cure?

Time to Think Differently

Learnlife has tackled the challenge to provide a fresh experience of learning, unleash learner curiosity, facilitate learner agency and encourage discovery in a variety of ways.

Learnlife-Acesco Hubling Partnership - hacking the state curriculum

The Learnlife movement is gathering pace, with 11 Hub Partners already onboard during 2021 and a total of 152 interested institutions from 42 countries. Amidst the numbers which tell the story of momentum and shared vision, we wanted to share a wonderful example of partnership with you. 

What it means to make learning personal (and what it takes)

We need to replace traditional learning, which is no longer fit for purpose, with personal learning where learners forge unique learning paths.

Change in education is happening on all fronts

In Learnlife we think a lot about change. In the Learnlife Alliance, we talk a lot about change. In the Learnlife hubs, hublings, communities and partnerships, we push for change and try to show and share with others how it might look, as we learn and grow together.

Scale or spread? A partnership case study between Learnlife and Intrinsic

The Learnlife movement is growing, but is it scaling, or spreading? What do these words mean to you?

How the role of an educator must change to suit the 21st century

What does the word “educator” mean to you? Those of us working in such roles have likely used different words to describe what we do. Teacher, mentor, coach, learning guide. It never used to be so diverse, but such is the way of change. The words evolve, because the role itself is changing. 

The word and the why - the broken language of learning

At Learnlife, we are conscious of how we use words to describe learning, because we believe we have a responsibility to be part of something better. Join us on an exploration of the word, and the power it has to take us forward.

How personal learning can reignite your children's love of learning

Personal learning sounds like a logistical nightmare to the top brass of education, who have had us marching lockstep for centuries. The truth is that if you try to personalize learning within the same old traditional system, it is almost impossible. But when the learner takes over, it really can be done. Let’s look at the personal learning approach of our Home Hub programme, and why it really is the future.

What is Your Ikigai?

We talk a lot about Ikigai at Learnlife, as a way of distinguishing something beyond passion or purpose. Ikigai is really your reason for being, and the thing that gives you direction and motivation, but we thought we would take this opportunity to zoom in a little bit more on the concept, and why it is at the heart of what we do.

Does the future belong to the generalists?

The traditional model of education tells us that as you progress, you narrow and specialise. But the future needs generalists too, who can connect the dots and see beyond the boundaries of specialism. So why do we still tell our children to choose one thing and do it well?

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Education

The world is full of successful entrepreneurs who were told in school that they would never amount to anything. So many people succeed ‘in spite of their education’ instead of ‘because of it’ tells us not only that the current system is broken, but gives us a yardstick to measure progress towards something better. When entrepreneurship finds its place in mainstream education, we might actually be getting somewhere and, to be honest, we’re not about to wait.

7 Questions About Literacy Skills at Learnlife

Literacy skills go beyond reading and writing, it covers how we interact with the world around us. To understand its scope better, here are 7 questions about literacy skills at Learnlife answered by learning guides, Harriet and Annette.

Wellbeing for children is not a priority, but THE priority.

As governments and institutions rush to respond to the post-pandemic landscape in education, wellbeing for children is finally at the heart of policy. Dig just a bit deeper, however, and you’ll see that the majority of these strategies are temporary reactions. We discuss why wellbeing is the fundamental priority of learning environments and why that commitment needs to be permanent.

Interlingualism in learning

Interlingualism is quite a new word, but the concept is as old as the human story itself. At Learnlife, we welcome interlingualism as the chance to share together in the beautiful diversity of sounds and stories within our community, and to instil global citizenship at the heart of our experience. So what is it, and why does it matter?

Neuroscience and the joy of learning

Last month, we wrote about the neuroscience of learning and we gave fair warning that we would return to the topic. Sooner than you thought, perhaps, but we just couldn't wait. We wanted to zoom in on one particular area, and that is the joy of learning. 

Community story: From the school of life to lifelong learning

Jago Bakshy shares his unique learning journey; from his birthplace in the UK, to India and most recently to Barcelona, Spain, where he is part of the cohort of the Explorers programme at Barcelona’s Learnlife Urban Hub.

7 Questions About Numeracy at Learnlife

Maths trauma is a real thing, and that should be an alarm bell for the way numeracy is approached in the traditional education system. From balancing our books to balancing our tables, numeracy skills are functional skills we need in today’s world. So how do we approach numeracy at Learnlife? What exactly is “soccermatics”? We put 7 questions to Learning Guide Adria Balcazar and got an exponential return. 

The neuroscience of learning - 3 things we need to tell to learners and parents

The neuroscience of learning is starting to come of age. Much is still speculation, but more and more conclusions are being widely accepted. Here are three things we feel parents and educators ought to know about the brain. 

What we learned during the shift to remote learning

As doors open and normal service resumes, we look back at what we learned from a sudden shift to remote learning, and how it has made us stronger as a learning community.

Learnhubs - where the magic of personal learning really happens

A creative space where you can truly experience personal learning? A place to explore, discover, iterate and make an impact? Look no further and revel in the magic of a Learnhub.

A Learning Community by No Other Name

Let’s deconstruct the words “learning community”. What could learners do and accomplish when we open the doors to the community and the “real world”?

What does VUCA learning look like?

Our world is a VUCA world, but traditional education tries to shelter our children from that reality with a neatly packaged system that does nothing to help them prepare for an uncertain world. So what does VUCA learning look like, and what is at its core?

Learnlife’s Rites of Passage: How Our Learners Meet the Challenge

We use the transformative power of the rites of passage to help learners develop self-confidence, work with mentors and peers, learn and adapt.

It's Time to Champion Microcredentialing

It is time for the gatekeepers of knowledge to accept that in this fast-changing world, learners will gain more benefit if we start to champion microcredentialing.

25 Learning Methodologies that Education Professionals Need to Know

Schools are being advised that they should employ modern learning methodologies such as Flipped Classroom, Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning. But are they just ‘buzz words’ or a fad?

The Fundamental Role of Parents in the Learning Environment

The collaboration of parents, guardians and learning guides is essential to a learning environment that supports learning, but does not direct it.

The Future of Learning: Preparing Learners for a Future We Cannot Control

When we embrace the future of learning, we equip learners to become problem solvers and innovators who can face the challenges of the future.

Developing a Growth Mindset

In developing a growth mindset, we need dedication and hard work to enhance our abilities and test initially perceived notions about ourselves.

Learning in Nature

Learning in nature takes education out of the classroom and in the environment, using it as a unique tool to acquire knowledge and develop skills.

[RE]LEARN 2020: The Future of Learning

We must rewire our thinking towards the future of learning, which consists of educational systems where there is authentic and profound respect for learners.

Skateboarding and Self Directed Learning at Learnlife - what’s the connection?

Skateboarding has a connection with self directed learning. The way they interact and learn may be why they are drawn to a learning environment like ours.

Growing Positive Relationships

We must reframe the widely assumed belief that positive relationships are accidental and acknowledge that they can be deliberately forged.

Learn, Unlearn, Relearn

“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

We’re excited to re-ignite a passion for learning!

We’re not there yet, but it is really happening. We’re stepping back and re-igniting our learners’ passion for learning so that they could take control.

Play-Based Learning Brings Its Own Reward

Play-based learning isn’t a concept just for infants and young children. Doing anything you truly enjoy is play, and you’ll know that by how it feels.

Change in our Education System Begins on Day One

In a new education paradigm we talk more of an onboarding process than matriculation. So what exactly does this mean, and how does it differ?

An alternative education beyond the wall

The wall is often overlooked in discussions of a learning environment, perhaps because they are simply there, and we’ve forgotten what anything else might look like.

Innovation for Education is a word apart (spelling is intentional!)

Innovation for education, and a change in the way we do things, really is much closer than we may think. In fact, this stronger structure is right here.

Learnlife Inspirations: 5 books and articles as recommended by Stephen Harris

Learnlife Co-founder, Stephen Harris, recommends a few books and articles that inspired and advanced our thinking for Learnlife’s learning approach and paradigm.

Community Story: What is Your Why?

If people don’t know the answer to the question “What is your why?”, then they run the risk of allowing others to envision their life for them.

Learning Alliance: A Movement to Deliver Educational Change

The Learning Alliance at Learnlife aims to spread a global learning paradigm that suits today’s learners and prepares them for their tomorrow.

Why Mental and Emotional Wellness is Now Top of Mind

As the pandemic continues and many countries are still in an extended state of quarantine, the topic of mental and emotional wellness now becomes top of mind.

A New Learning Paradigm

Learnlife proposes a new learning paradigm is needed to prepare learners for the future and create the momentum required to drive change in education.

Ikigai for students and purpose-inspired learning

Learning should begin with finding one's purpose, the ‘why’ that propels us forward. And helping develop this ikigai for students is our focus for their future.

Community Story: Lives Matter

Lives matter. Sam Lardner, Director of Learnlife Barcelona, shares a heartfelt letter with our community after the events of the last week in the United States.

One Learner Moves to His Own Beat to Find His Purpose in Life

Stormur is a talented 15-year-old 'Learnlifer' who hasn’t skipped a beat in carving his own path and finding his purpose in life during confinement.

The power of talking about the mental health of students

An interview with Monica Evason, mindset coach, on why now, more than ever, it's important to talk about the mental health of students.

A Recalibration: Learnlife’s Shift to Remote Learning

On March 10, we shifted to remote learning — into the homes of over 60 learners in Barcelona and beyond. This post is about what has happened since.

'It's time for the little boats': The Future of Learning

The future of learning is the main topic in our second set of [RE]LEARN interviews with education innovators Alfredo Hernando, David Price and Devin Carberry.

Love in the time of Covid: Celebrating St. George’s day

To commemorate the Catalan tradition celebrating love, romance and friendship, here are some St. George’s Day activities you can do during Covid.

Community Story: Rwanda as a Learnhub

Learnhubs come in all shapes and sizes, and our recent trip made Rwanda one big Learnhub with all the things we learned from its people.

Time to 'unlearn being adults' and embrace the new normal in education

See our first set of [RE]LEARN pre-recorded interviews featuring education innovators and influencers Prof. Yong Zhao, Sarah Martin & Bea Beste

The Best of RELEARN Learnlife

Highlights from our [RE]LEARN global conversation held earlier this week and why a return to "normality" and old practices post-Covid would be a huge missed opportunity

The shift to remote learning rather than 'online schooling'

Why we should all be talking about home-based remote learning rather than online schooling, and how we define this

A Reflection from Learnlife Barcelona

Learnlife Barcelona Director, Sam Lardner, reflects on the events of the past few weeks as we conclude the second cycle of the 2019-2020 cohort.

Letters of love to seniors: A campaign of solidarity and hope

Do you want to send an uplifting letter to seniors and lonely hospital patients during these uncertain times? Here are two ways you can do that.