This past summer, in a blog I wrote about the importance of learning and working environments, I mentioned the recommendations from the Macy Foundation’s April conference, “Improving Environments for Learning in the Health Professions.” Amy Barton, a panelist at the Consortium’s own conference in June, was an invited participant at the Macy Foundation event.
I was curious about what struck her the most about the discussions at the Macy Conference. It was definitely a high-level discussion, she noted, revolving around analyzing commissioned papers about theories of learning and instruction. But what impressed her the most was the persistent focus on the social component of learning—on community—and on the importance of creating environments that are nurturing.
I asked Amy to join me and write a blog about these ideas. She begins by talking about loggerhead turtles (!); describes the four characteristics of learning environments; relates all that to the Johns Hopkins Civility Project; and wraps it up with a closing quote from the conference.