Most classrooms follow a prescribed formula. Teachers plan and lay out what is going to be learned. Students come into class and have the responsibility of switching themselves into “ready” mode, waiting for the teacher to instruct and guide them in the day’s tasks. Surely there are parts of the learning process where the control could be shifted to the students – where teachers can hand them responsibility and freedom and give them a voice in what they would learn.
Sometimes, being thrown into a new situation with few resources and little knowledge can be the best way to innovate. Educators, especially those who work in smaller rural districts, can sometimes be called on to teach classes without a lot of support or resources. While those moments can be terrifying, it’s also a good time to step back from the anxious swirl of curriculum and standards to think like a kid. What would they love? Zombies, superheroes, and fairies, of course!
If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution? “Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind,” said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive … Continue reading Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning →
For many schools across the country, today marks the first day of a new year. In addition to thinking about tools that help boost educators’ teaching practice, this moment might be a good time to pull back and think about some big-picture ideals, too. Here are a few to consider. 1. INFUSE PASSION INTO LEARNING. … Continue reading Five Ways to Bring Innovation Into the Classroom →
By Suzie Boss The following suggestions for turning K-12 classrooms into innovation spaces come from Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World, published in July by Solution Tree. How can we prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators? It’s an urgent challenge, repeated by President Obama, corporate CEOs, and global … Continue reading How to Turn Your Classroom into an Idea Factory →
When we envision a well-rounded, progressive education for our kids, we think of a vibrant environment that nurtures students’ passions, provides structure for rich and deep learning, a place where kids can get their hands on projects that are meaningful to them. That’s the goal at Brightworks, a small, K-12 private school just starting its … Continue reading Lessons Learned: How a Progressive New School Adapts to Realities →
Amidst a sea of available technology, what does it take to engage students, not just within a standardized curriculum, but in their own learning? What’s technology’s role, and what are policy implications?
This past school year, Shelley Wright, a high school educator in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, made a number of big changes in her teaching practice. The class went paperless and used a Wiki, she incorporated project-based learning and collaboration into her lessons, she experimented with “vessays.” All along the way, she documented everything on her blog … Continue reading What Does a Great School Year Look Like? Ask the Students →