Questions/Comments are circling like a shark around its prey. How have students learned up to this point… before the “new wave” in education? You know, the new wave of student centered learning. Are teachers not important anymore? What is the role of the teacher now? What will happen next… students won’t even need a book? (well, let’s talk about that another time with Matt Miller)
Maybe the question to get you thinking right now should be…
Who wants to wake up every day knowing that the place you are going to is about to talk your ear off for 7+ hours expecting you to absorb, process, and regurgitate that knowledge to show competency? Oh and by the way, look like your having fun AND stay out of trouble!
Better yet, do you want a cap on your learning? Do you want to be directly instructed without any choice? Instruction based solely on age and grade?
Ummm, not me! I honestly sit baffled by the practice of teaching at times. Do you think that direct instruction is the key to success? If I tried to learn how to tie my shoes through lecture, I would no doubt fail and fall (over my shoelaces)! Give me a shoe! Let me use MY shoe! Show me the laces and create a sense of curiosity and understanding that becomes purposeful and relevant to the task. Then I may be able to apply myself differently. Direct instruction leaves a learner feeling:
- data defined
- isolated- like their answer most likely is not the ONE that you are looking for
Or would you like your learning to factor in your ability? your needs? your passions?
So let’s shift our mindsets to student centered. Let’s leave our learners feeling:
Today’s session on “Education Reimagined” ( Randy Ziegenfuss and Lynn Fuini-Hetten #SASInstitute2017), left me feeling more empowered and energized. Acknowledging that competency is not capped off by a grade level. Empowering learners to grow beyond their mastered skills. Isn’t that what you want from a day of professional development… a day of learning! This was relevant to my classroom. This serves a purpose to my students so that when I return to the classroom I can continue to connect learning and interests, fighting the fight for growth in every child… facilitating the learning of all students! Learning has 27 different definitions for my class this year… empowering 27 students to find their passion and light the world on fire becomes my purpose each day.
My go to “take-away” for quick implementation of this approach is:
… inquiry-based learning that generates this shift. One that spawns curiosity. One that requires critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, and the reward of relevance! One that requires the focus on students and not the teacher!
An excellent way to shift the center of teaching is through Project-Based Learning. It is an in-depth investigation of a real world topic. It is tailored to each student’s passion, which in turn fuels their learning. It is then driven home through the creation of a student chosen project that will then be shown to their chosen authentic audience. The voice and choice embedded in this alone is the creator of small shifts.
less is more
less teacher centered
more student centered
small shifts for the greater good