The history of Learning School

Learning School is an international student based research project which is now in its 12th year. It is part of the Global Classroom Partnership, whose motto is: “learn locally but think globally.” The foundations for the Global Classroom Partnership were laid back in 1988 when a link was established between the Anderson High School (AHS) in Shetland and Gymnázium Zlín in the Czech Republic. Over the years, many students from both schools had the opportunity to share and expand their learning through short and long-term exchanges. The AHS went on to form more links, with other schools in Europe (such as GFS in Diepholz) as well as schools across the globe (like SPH in Cape Town). The partnership grew and now encompasses several different projects and events such as Learning School, Global Ambition and the Global Classroom Conference.


Learning School aims to encourage young people to be active contributors to positive change in education. The project offers a unique perspective as the research is carried out by an international team of young people, from schools in the partnership. The student researchers, who are either in their final school years or have recently left school, are coordinated by two recent University graduates. The team travel to partner schools over the course of a 6-10 months period and conduct directed research.
Over the years, research has focused on many different aspects of learning within schools, and student and teacher perceptions of these systems. Previous topics include: Motivation in learning, assessment, responsibility, student leadership and personal and social development. You can have a look at reports from previous years on the Global Classroom Website. It is the responsibility of the team to decide how the research is carried out and the direction they take.

Participants find themselves in a diverse range of social, cultural and economic situations and Learning School is an amazing opportunity for young people to develop skills that will help them throughout their life. Past students have mentioned: travelling; meeting new people; observing different perspectives; improving communication, writing and media skills; building confidence; and problem solving. Even bad or difficult experiences have been reflected on as good in terms of personal development.
As well as the Learning School team gaining from the experience, students and teachers in partner schools, host families, local communities and even educational experts benefit from the work done by the team.


This year’s Learning School topic is: The Future of Learning, Teaching and Schools. The project has slightly different format from previous years: In the first period, between September and December, research was carried out in some of the partner schools. Then, between January and June, this research will be translated into learning projects called Rich Tasks, which the team will introduce to partner schools.

For more information about Learning School, take a look at the Global Classroom website

For the Learning School final fun video, click here >

Learning School - Shufflin' from Lizzie Ratter on Vimeo.