Thursday, February 9, 2012
21st Century Learning Skills Call for Overhaul
Inquiry and Project Based Learning are some of the catch phrases being thrown around to describe the shift that is happening in some classrooms around the nation. For me those terms can be boiled down to one thing. Choice- giving students the opportunity to learn what they want, how they want to learn it essentially creates inquiry and Project Based Learning. Which is something that I wish had occurred to me to do years ago, but I'm dealing with it!
One of the people who really influenced my thinking was a professor at grad school who introduced me to Sir Ken Robinson's "Changing Education Paradigms". The wheels had been turning up to that point, and then the rubber hit the road.
Not exactly rocket science, but for an average teacher it's a new way of thinking. Taking the emphasis off of using content to teach skills and turning the focus towards student interests and passions to learn those same skills takes work. Not just a little work, a lot of work.
My English classroom is in the midst of a major overhaul. Mostly it's happening in my brain, but it's spilling over into every aspect of my classroom. My old units are sometimes useless with this new way or thinking, and I need to create whole new units. Slowly, things are changing -one unit at a time, trial and error, success and failure. Together my students and I are learning what makes a successful English classroom.
Educational Needs: What's Really Important