Last week I shared a TED Talk from Sir Ken Robinson. In that video he talked about the factory model that some schools have become. Our students can be really good at playing the game of school here at RSI, or in junior high, and possibly even in high school. By playing the game of school I mean finishing homework, not causing issues in the classroom, and being what would generally be considered a “good student” in the old factory model of education. But when they go on to college, or when they are out in the real world, those students who played the game are not ready for real life. Know this: Homework completion in fifth and sixth grade are not a sign of success in the future – I consider myself a walking example of that statement. When graduating from college, our students may have a degree that they don’t really know what to do with, and send out resumes that put them into jobs that they do not find inspiring.
The best way we can break this model is through providing more student centered approaches in our teaching (think back to the post on the HSE21 Best Practice Model). When students are investigating things that are high interest to them, they find passion and purpose in their learning. When students want to learn more about their passions, they need only type a few key words into Google. Through that search they can be directed to pages of information, videos, pictures, and blog posts that may help them learn in a way that fits their learning styles.
Through integrating the Internet and online tools, you can help students realize that there are things in the world that they want to explore. You can help provide them with that spark that may ignite their passion.
In what ways have you tried to factor in your students own curiosity in your classroom? When you try to be more student centered, what do you notice about classroom engagement? Share some ways that you have tried to keep learning and teaching “student centered” in your class.