At MLC School, we firmly believe we are educating young women to be courageous, compassionate, capable of navigating change, and able to lead by adapting to the multiple paths that their futures will take.
To do this our girls need to be able to see clearly how to best to apply their knowledge to any given situation. Knowledge comes in many forms, not only is it found in academics, but the MLC School girl will be well placed to exercise intellectual, emotional, and moral wisdom as she takes her place amongst the leaders of tomorrow.
Our educational philosophy is focused on the holistic development of each girl that is supported through strong relationships and a sense of connection. This holistic approach is encompassed in four distinct learning frameworks. Each framework covers an area of school life with the MLC School girl at the centre. Learning and Teaching, Pastoral Care and Wellbeing, Co-curricular and Spiritual Life represent the different aspects of the whole girl.
The Learning Dispositions draw upon our School values and are the link between our values and each of the four frameworks. Each framework is mapped back to the six learning dispositions that have been identified as essential to the nurturing of the type of graduate we seek. These learning dispositions are the characteristics or attitudes to learning that are independent of content knowledge. They describe how students approach learning and therefore impact the outcomes of their learning. A focus on dispositions towards learning develops in students an awareness of learning as a process enabling them to articulate how they engage with and approach their own learning.
At MLC School we believe that dispositions regarding learning can be nurtured and cultivated from the values that we advocate as a school. They are the enactment of our values in all aspects of School life. In defining these we considered the kind of dispositions our girls need to achieve their goals, both personal and academic, over the course of their time with us at MLC School and beyond. In this process consideration was given to current research in the field from around the world as well as research into the dispositions required for our girls to successfully transition from primary to secondary to tertiary education and from there into the workforce of the future.
The Learning Dispositions also align with our place as a leader in delivery of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and as a Round Square member school, and the integration of the Round Square Discovery Framework.
The Learning Dispositions reflect three broad categories that describe the different facets of intelligence and understating we seek to develop:
Emotional intelligence and understanding – the MLC School girl is self-aware and empathic
To demonstrate emotional intelligence and understanding, the girls need to be both self-aware and empathic. Self-awareness is a developed awareness of one's own character and feelings. It is also being able to regulate and control one's own emotions in order to best achieve one's goals. An empathic disposition is a developed awareness of other’s characters and feelings. But also, an ability to understand the feelings of others, in order to connect, communicate, and facilitate positive relationships.
Cognitive intelligence and understanding – the MLC School girl is curious and open minded
To demonstrate cognitive intelligence and understanding, two dispositions are necessary. The MLC School girl must be curious. That is, she needs to have a strong desire to know and learn. But also, to actively seek out knowledge and enlightenment about the world and our shared humanity. Added to this she needs to be open minded. Which means she needs to have a receptiveness to new ideas. To support this, she needs to develop an ability to learn, unlearn and relearn in order to consistently illuminate her understanding of the world and her place in it.
Ethical and moral intelligence and understanding – the MLC School girl is accountable and collaborative
To demonstrate moral intelligence and understanding, the MLC School girl needs to be both accountable and collaborative. With accountability, this means she needs to be accountable for her own words and actions. Not only this, but she also needs to take responsibility for her words and deeds, and she needs to act with an enlightened moral view. This may also take the form of collaboration. The collaborative disposition, that is being responsible to others, for something bigger than oneself, cultivated in the MLC School girl will be indicated by a willingness to collaborate to work together and seek solutions. This act of working with other people to produce something will help the MLC School girl, and those around her, to achieve their aspirations.
The dispositions are of course a complement to the extensive disciplinary knowledge that is developed through each of the subject areas. At MLC School our girls also develop skills in design thinking, critical analysis, synthesis etc as they explore this knowledge in deep and meaningful ways. Equipping students with thinking skills is of value only when they have this core knowledge. The space that exists between dispositions for learning and the deep disciplinary knowledge is the willingness of the MLC School girl to sit comfortably with the discomfort of not immediately knowing what the ‘right’ answer is and the possibility of their being multiple answers. Students who have developed the learning dispositions we have identified will be better able to make the connections between the two.