Why Learning Should Be Messy

| October 18, 2012 | 45 Comments
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The following is an excerpt of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, by 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School in Woodbury, New York.

Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: “How do we teach it?” In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach them in a very rigid manner. Very rarely do you witness math and science teachers or English and history teachers collaborating with each other. Sticking in your silo, shell, and expertise is comfortable. Well, it’s time to crack that shell. It’s time to abolish silos and subjects. Joichi Ito, director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, told me that rather than interdisciplinary education, which merges two or more disciplines, we need anti-disciplinary education, a term coined by Sandy Pentland, head of the lab’s Human Dynamics group.

“Today’s problems — from global poverty to climate change to the obesity epidemic — are more interconnected and intertwined than ever before and they can’t possibly be solved in the academic or research ‘silos’ of the twentieth century,” writes Frank Moss, the former head of the M.I.T. Media Lab.

Schools cannot just simply add a “creativity hour” and call it a day.

Principal at High Tech High, an innovative, project-based learning school in San Diego, California, Larry Rosenstock, points out, “If you were to hike the Appalachian trail, which would take you months and months, and you reflect upon it, you do not divide the experience into the historic, scientific, mathematic, and English aspects of it. You would look at it holistically.”

After indicating the problem at hand, scoop out the tools, research, networks, and people required to get it solved. Get out of your comfort zone.

“You can have students do laboratories and hands-on activities and learn nothing, because they are following the cookbook and going through the motions without having their brains on.”

In practice, this means the elimination of English, mathematics, history, and science class. Instead, we need to arrange the curriculum around big ideas, questions, and conundrums. What does learning look like in this model? Letting kids learn by doing — the essence of the philosophy of educator John Dewey. He wrote: “The school must represent present life — life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.” Let kids travel to places, work with mentors, and inquire about the world around them.

Diana Laufenberg, former teacher at the Science Leadership Academy, described to me, “The role of inquiry is the starting point of learning. School-based education has always been about telling and getting of information, rather than exploring or investigating.” Let kids create for themselves. We can start by employing project-based learning, where students probe real world problems collaboratively. Back in 1918, William Heard Kilpatrick wrote a famous article laying out what he called the “project method”: a curriculum based on “wholehearted purposeful activity proceeding in a social environment…the essential factor [being] the presence of a dominating purpose.” In project-based classrooms, learning literally comes alive.

CASE STUDY: BRIGHTWORKS

Let’s examine three institutions: The Brightworks School, a K-12 private school; Stanford d.school, an institute of design; and the M.I.T. Media Lab, a graduate program.

The Brightworks School in San Francisco, California, which opened its doors in September 2011, epitomizes a new style of learning. Founder Gever Tulley told me, “If the pedagogical unit of traditional public education is a day divided into a series of 45 minute periods, then the pedagogical unit of Brightworks is the arc, which is divided into three phrases.” Each arc, he says, has a central theme.

The first phase of the arc is called exploration. “Within this phase,” Tulley says, “we create a landscape of experiences populated by passionate people who have devoted some portion of their lives to an aspect of the topic.” The children begin a journey looking through a kaleidoscope of perspectives and eventually mold a clear statement of what they intend to accomplish in the next phase. The second phase is expression. Tulley notes, “During this phrase, the mixed age teams work together, sharing skills, to take the ideas to completion — within the deadline.” The final phase is called exposition, where the public gets to view what the kids have done.

The first topic of the previous school year was cities. For three weeks, the students looked at the history of cities, how cities work, and the future of cities. 18 field trips were built into their schedule. Almost every day, Tulley explains, “we went into the city to see something or work with someone who has dedicated their life to some aspect of the city. Be they in waste water management, city planners, or architects.”

“The point is to see the topic in as many ways as you possibly can,” says Tulley. “Part of that is to expand the notion of cities in the students’ minds.”

Note: project-based learning is not necessarily expensive. He reveals, “If you look at the net aggregate cost of putting a child through a nearby public school in terms of public expenditure, at Brightworks, we do not spend anymore on kids in our private school in terms of net aggregate cost.”

CASE STUDY: STANFORD D.SCHOOL

At the Stanford d.school, projects drive the curriculum. Bringing majors from engineering, business, medicine, science, and design to come together to solve real or abstract problems is the underpinning of the institution’s philosophy. The goal is to have students become what are called “T-shaped” students, who have depth in a particular field of study but also breadth across multiple disciplines. Its founder and director is David Kelley, whose mission is to transmit “empathy” into his students to encourage them to see the human side of the challenges posed in class and regain their creative confidence, often lost in the early years of schooling.

Based on the axioms of what Kelley has called “design thinking,” instead of being spoon-fed problems to solve, students must first define problems themselves through observation, research, and dialogue. After, students visualize and brainstorm potential solutions with one another in the stage of “ideation.” Next, by means of prototypes, students make sketches and three-dimensional models of potential ideas to iterate continuously. Lastly, students make the final touches on a finished prototype.

The school concentrates on four areas: the developing world, sustainability, health and wellness, and K-12 education. From extracting water for irrigation in Burma to supplying solar lanterns for the poor in rural India and Africa to building infant warmers in Nepal, these students are certainly making their mark on the world.

CASE STUDY: M.I.T. MEDIA LAB

Similarly, the M.I.T. Media Lab has an anti-disciplinary approach to learning. Their research program is “focused on inventing a better future through creative applications of innovative digital technologies.” Instead of lectures, grading, and tests, roughly 25 groups of graduate student researchers and a few undergraduate researchers work with faculty members and scientists on a research topic. Due to its non-linear and collaborative process, fascinating innovations are born from Aida, a dashboard-mounted robot for cars and trucks to a trillion-frame-per-second video to Huggable, a robot teddy bear companion for pediatric hospital patients.

“If you go into a [traditional] classroom where there isn’t that structure, kids aren’t exactly on pace, projects look messy, and it’s loud, teachers have gotten in trouble for that.”

How can we evaluate projects? We can’t grade them the same way as tests. Gever Tulley offered me a very relevant hypothetical situation.

“Suppose you and I decided to build a boat. Our hypothesis might be: we can build a boat under $30 using recycled materials and sail it across the Hudson River. Our teacher or mentor can help us shape that to ensure that the challenge meets our cognitive and intellectual development. If the teacher thought the task was too easy for us, he or she might add a twist — the boat needs to have two masts or sail power. Half a day, a few times a week, you and I would work on this project and we have a deadline.”

“Suppose then we build the boat, drop it in the Hudson River, and it sinks. No one has to tell us that our boat is not working. We don’t need the ‘F.’ Its unnecessary and inappropriate. That first version of the boat could have been a hypothesis. We learned from the experience and the next version will be more well thought out. So after going back to drawing board and making tweaks, we test the final version. We find that the boat sails well downwind, but cannot sail upwind.”

“What grade should a teacher give? Is that a ‘C’ because it only went in one direction? Or is that an ‘A’ because we tried a bold idea but we neglected 3,000 years of sailing history and would have been able to sail it in both directions if we had done our research? You can’t decide. The feedback from the boat is its own incentive to improve our thinking for the next project.”

The point is that evaluation is no longer about giving a single number, but rather a documented process from start to finish. At the Brightworks School, students will leave with an iPad, filled with all the projects they completed in their term. Plus, portfolios and publishing your work online is one of the biggest motivators for kids. When she was teaching at the Science Leadership Academy, Diana Laufenberg said that if you Googled her students’ names, you would find an entire web history linked to them. Couple that with the fact that in project-based learning, kids are working on something they have a passion for, thus they have a stake in the outcome and will keep trying even when something isn’t working. That’s true in life as well.

Brightworks School

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING IS MESSY

Why hasn’t project-based learning picked up yet? There are a few reasons. First, the model of education says principal Chris Lehmann where kids sit in rows, read textbooks, and hear lectures has lasted so long, because it never goes that wrong. “It’s boring as hell, but most principals don’t yell at their teachers if they walk by their classroom and all they see is a quiet classroom with kids reading the textbook. No one gets in trouble.”

“If you go into a classroom,” says Lehmann, “where there isn’t that structure, kids aren’t exactly on pace, projects look messy, and it’s loud, teachers have gotten in trouble for that.”

Second, the way students attempt to learn via projects does not work. Tulley says, “It amounts to kit-based experiences in 45 minute periods. ‘We’re going to do a biology kit.’ We already know that those recipe like exercises do not stimulate creativity.”

I also spoke with Harvard Professor Eric Mazur on this issue as well. He says, “You can have students do laboratories and hands-on activities and learn nothing, because they are following the cookbook and going through the motions without having their brains on. The word ‘hands-on’ is overused and abused.”

The role of the teacher in project-based learning as Laufenberg likes to say is an “architect of opportunity. Through a scaffolding strategy, they help us make sense of what we have learned. Still, teachers must understand that learning is uncomfortable, messy, and complicated.” Get over compliance and control!

In a summary published on Edutopia, Brigid Barron and Linda Darling-Hammond reviewed numerous studies and found that:

  1. Students learn more deeply when they can apply classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems, and when they take part in projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration.
  2. Active-learning practices have a more significant impact on student performance than any other variable, including student background and prior achievement.
  3. Students are most successful when they are taught how to learn as well as what to learn.

As the old adage goes, “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” Harvard Professor Howard Gardner said to me that schools should incorporate the best of two models of learning: a hands-on children’s museum, which encourages open-ended exploration, and an apprenticeship, which provides a more structured environment for practicing meaningful skills in an authentic, real-life context.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to learn the boring stuff before you start applying it. Start rolling around in the dirt from the get go.

Nikhil Goyal lives with his family in Woodbury, New York. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry, Fox and Friends, Fox Business: Varney & Co., NBC Nightly News, and Huffington Post.

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  • Courtney

    This is the best article I have read in awhile. It hits on everything. Great piece, Nikhil Goyal! John Dewey was absolutely right… Letting kids learn by doing! The world is integrated, and in the ‘real world’ people collaborate… schools must also. Thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal
  • Landis Green

    Thank you for bringing clarity to a complex topic. Projects are a hallmark at our school http://www.wildwood.org/ and our graduates regularly report back on the benefits of learning through projects. One of my favorite observations from a very successful graduate was that her high school work was just plain, “meaningful.” What more could a teacher ask for?

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Fascinating Landis! Thanks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.markham Thom Markham

    Thanks, Nikhil. The good news is that project based learning is happening. In fact, based on trends I see, I predict PBL will be a dominant method of instruction in 5 years. PBL fits seamlessly with our need for more inquiry through the Common Core, more creativity, a much higher level of student engagement and a world that doesn’t divide itself into ‘subjects.’ One note: PBL doesn’t need to be messy. Quality PBL methods allow teachers to retain the best of discovery learning with a structure that allows for facilitation and direction from the teacher. Classrooms that use PBL methods, rather than just doing ‘projects’, often hum quietly.

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks Thom! Definitely. Agreed.

  • Cindy Schmid

    Thank you for a great article. In the late 1970s and early 1980s I taught using Project Based Learning. My principal came in to observe me. At the end of the lesson, he told me to “stop doing this nonsense and go back to a lecture.” It was early in my career and I needed the job, so I complied. It is interesting to think that I may have been ahead of my time and that I may now be free to teach this way again!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Keathley/100003656043866 Michael Keathley

      Cindy, I had a similar experience in the mid-1990s. We had actually stacked the desks and chairs in a storage area that was happily located outside my classroom, and we had started our PBL activity. The principal came in for my surprise observation, panicked, and walked out. Later, he made a similar recommendation to me that I go back to lecturing. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to move on to much more innovative schools. Also, thank you for the post Nikhil. Wonderfully written and valuable content!

      • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

        Thanks Cindy and Michael!

  • timberwitch

    Great article. Hands on learning is something I focus on. Some problems with the aforementioned schools – Brightworks is $20,000 per year, tuition. The Stanford D.school is only open to enrolled Stanford grad students, who could possibly be in student loan debt until they are 70 years old. Again, the MIT lab is only open to grad students. So this effectively eliminates the majority of great minds out there by only selecting those people from society who could afford to go to such schools, or are privileged to have wealthy parents, OR have conformed to mainstream education and curricula for many years so they were chosen to be a part of the special club. “Out of the box” education and project based learning does not need to be exclusive, elitist, available only to the super rich, and a reward because you have jumped through the rights hoops or were seated in the lap of luxury. It’s too bad the article didn’t post some examples of public or charter schools, rural or inner city with examples of kids that came from the hood or homelessness that show amazing promise in life through project based learning. Sad this topic is so one sided from KQED, but I used to live in San Jose. That ‘microcosm’ is a real distortion on how the rest of this country behaves, lives and deals with reality.

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks for your comment. In the future, I plan on highlighting the efforts of other types of schools. I’m writing a piece on the work of Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the South Bronx who uses project-based learning very well.

  • Cristin

    This is a very interesting article. I’ve been looking online at examples of PBL in world language classes because I just can’t get my mind wrapped around how the students can learn the language by “getting dirty” and doing projects. I have always believed that a language is acquired and the students need a lot of input before they can create output with the language. How does this work with PBL?

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks Christin! For foreign languages, the best way to learn language is becoming immersed with the culture and people. Traveling. Experiential learning in museums and historic places. Rosetta Stone is a great tool.

      Nikhil

  • http://twitter.com/alee4272 Ann Lee

    I truly enjoyed this article. I was truly inspired!

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks Ann! I would love to learn more about your work. ngoyal2013@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/garreth.heidt Garreth Heidt

    Nikhil,

    So glad to see you’ve delved into design thinking and design-based learning. I’ve been lucky enough to be in a district that’s allowed me to evolve an “anti-disciplinary” class over the past 15 years. The hardest thing for students at first is trying to categorize it. Is it English? Is it Science? History? What? Many students seem to need such categories at first, but that’s only because that’s what they expect from school. Once they look at how they learn, they realize there’s something unique and important going on. I commend you on your post and wish you the best with your book. It’s on my Christmas list.

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      Hi Garreth,

      Thanks so much. Learning is diverse and organic! Thanks. I would love to hear what you think of it when you finish reading it. ngoyal2013@gmail.com

  • AMS

    “Not a sage on the stage, but a guide on the side” ;)

    • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

      :)

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  • http://twitter.com/nikhilgoya_l Nikhil Goyal

    Thanks for the comments everyone! Feel free to reach out to me directly at ngoyal2013@gmail.com.

  • mnmade

    A few ideas to consider:
    Is there the possibility of a “burn out’ factor if one theme is the only focus of 5-6 classes daily for 9 or even 18 weeks?
    In many ways posting work on the Internet or YouTube is hardly authentic when the material is buried deep in “cloud” depositories of student work. Even viral videos end up in obscurity.
    Have you gone to a children’s museum lately? You will see a lot of chaos and desire to be entertained but very little focused learning unless the parent or teacher provides structure for all the input of information. The best lesson children obtain from going to children’s museums is learning to take turns and to share space.
    Nikhil, consider doing some apprenticing in classrooms of poorly funded schools. The experience may add some depth to your research.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.f.geiger Jennifer Fischer Geiger

      If you reread the article, the last paragraph or so advocates a focused apprenticeship as well as the “chaos” of a children’s museum. I think your response still assumes that teaching and school means “en masse.” When I take my own children to the museum, I do just as you say and let them explore, but also ask them their thoughts and hypotheses. And that car ride home is good teaching time. So basically, you have been noticing the need for smaller class sizes and cooperation between school and home. Maybe that could happen easier if parents understood what the purpose of the learning was? If the child had some say in it as well?

  • csquared

    Sounds good!??But are we providing them the fundamentals for the very rigorous mathematics curriculum in college? If it took hundreds of years for the brilliant minds of the past to refine and develop our math concepts and formulas that we are enjoying today, do we expect our teenagers to grasp or discover these fundamentals at their own pace with minimal guidance from the teachers and other adults? This is indeed messy and ……can have a very messy foundation in math when they go to college..

  • tracy

    This is the way to go—–unfortunately it doesn’t fit within the “teaching the test” mindset we are battling right now or the “parents don’t understand the project so they can’t do it for the kids” issue either. Keep preaching———-it is time for challenge based learning!

  • http://twitter.com/MamaFlowers Chris Uhres-Todd

    Great article! International Baccalaureate follows a PBL idea. I taught PYP (Primary Years Programme) to grade 6 for one year and enjoyed watching my students jumping into inquiry projects. As a primary/elementary teacher you have more freedom to make cross curricular links and also more time flexibility to allow for collaborative learning. You are right PBL is rarely quiet but very productive!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sara.salyers Sara Salyers

    The traditionally structured classroom actually destroys the brain’s ability to access the frontal lobes (executive thinking centers) by causing a (near universal) phenomenon in high school students known as learned helplessness/downshifting. The traditional structure creates actual trauma for a brain that has evolved to: learn through trial and error (God forbid you make a mistake in school, fail a test or give a different answer from the the one prescribed); through situated learning (we call it cheating in high school); through making connections (we use the Greek model of breaking things down into their smallest bits and assuming that you understand the whole when you have memorized the pieces); and through open ended inquiry (get up and move! the bell just rang). Then there’s the shame and blame culture, test fear, the boredom and the ‘cool kid/bully hierarchy to watch out for. The effect on the human brain is the neural equivalent of a lobotomy. Looks like this brilliant seventeen year old just showed a few ‘experts’ what is needed to deepen their own research …

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngoyal Nikhil Goyal

      Agreed! Thanks so much Sara!

  • Roy Hanney

    Can I be controversial? Of course I can :)

    Personally I feel that the term project-based learning is here misapplied since a project (if you research the definitions carefully) is not a pedagogy in the traditional sense. It is just a structuring tool for sure but actually it is just an administrative framework for organising activity towards some goals or outcomes.the problems at the heart. Assuming we leave the concept of Agile Projects out of the equation for now there is a very real sense that learning on projects can be discouraged or inhibited in most project methods (OK I did say lets Leave Agile on the ‘elf shelf’ for now). The pedagogy at work when students are engaged on project activities is in the domain of “PROBLEMS”: it is my belief that problems are the real motor here and it is in the domain of problem-based learning that the pedagogic roots of projects lay not in the nature of projects themselves…. I did mention Agile Projects before and I notice that most of the methods above adopt a more Agile approach and I assume that is because these methods place the problem encounter and the responses to that encounter at the heart of their project methodology. Where as a truly project-based methodology would foreground the instrumental and procedural that being the nature of projects and project management methods. What Agile does is actually liberate those engaged in projects from this techno-rationalist approach to any kind of creative activity and offers a ‘ontological’ methodology where learning is celebrated as a foundation of the creative activity and as such transcends traditional notions of what a project is – yes it’s messy – that is what caught my attention because projects are all about making things un-messy, controlling chaos, ordering, structuring etc… Agile is unleashes the mess, rolls around in the dirt of chaos and still delivers (so we are told)… so I guess my point is this – project-=based learning isn’t project-based it is problem-based and it is more appropriate to use this term if you want to postulate a pedagogy of projects! Unless you are talking about Agile of course but thats another kettle of fish :0)

  • Roy Hanney

    Can I be controversial? Of course I can :)

    Personally I feel that the term project-based learning is here misapplied since a project (if you research the definitions carefully) is not a pedagogy in the traditional sense. It is just a structuring tool for sure but actually it is just an administrative framework for organising activity towards some goals or outcomes.the problems at the heart. Assuming we leave the concept of Agile Projects out of the equation for now there is a very real sense that learning can be discouraged or inhibited in most project methods (OK I did say lets Leave Agile on the ‘elf shelf’ for now). The pedagogy at work when students are engaged on project activities is in the domain of “PROBLEMS”: it is my belief that problems are the real motor here and it is in the domain of problem-based learning that the pedagogic roots of projects lay not in the nature of projects themselves…. I did mention Agile Projects before and I notice that most of the methods above adopt a more Agile approach and I assume that is because these methods place the problem encounter and the responses to that encounter at the heart of their project methodology. Where as a truly project-based methodology would foreground the instrumental and procedural that being the nature of projects and project management methods. What Agile does is actually liberate those engaged in projects from this techno-rationalist approach to any kind of creative activity and offers a ‘ontological’ methodology where learning is celebrated as a foundation of the creative activity and as such transcends traditional notions of what a project is – yes it’s messy – that is what caught my attention because projects are all about making things un-messy, controlling chaos, ordering, structuring etc… Agile is unleashes the mess, rolls around in the dirt of chaos and still delivers (so we are told)… so I guess my point is this – project-based learning isn’t project-based it is problem-based and it is more appropriate to use this term if you want to postulate a pedagogy of projects! Unless you are talking about Agile of course but that’s another kettle of fish :0)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.f.geiger Jennifer Fischer Geiger

    I’m a high school English Language Arts teacher and I can’t wait to read your book. Actually I have a lot of reading and thinking to go before I return to teaching (currently on maternity leave). When I tried PBL two years ago, I had quite a few problems and I’m sure some of that was due to my inexperience. But an interesting– and frustrating– finding in my own experience is that one group of honors students did not appreciate the locus of control being thrust upon them. It seems many of the students in the class realized they were doing most of the work on their projects and I was merely consulting; in short, the most vocal of them rebelled. Has anyone else had this response from students? Have you had anyone beg for teacher-created study guides, tests, quizzes and other “objective measures” to come back?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ngoyal Nikhil Goyal

      Mhmm interesting. I would love to hear what you think. Drop me a line: ngoyal2013@gmail.com.

    • Azul Terronez

      Jennifer,
      I Teach Humanities (Language Arts and U.S. History) in a middle school, project-based school called High Tech Middle. The shift that it takes students to move from a teacher centered classroom, to a student centered classroom has a great deal to do with how they were taught to think. It does take the buy in of the student to see project based work as valuable. Often times, teachers attempt “project oriented work” rather than project based work. Project based work
      teaches students through the projects, the projects are the learning. Project
      oriented work are project that are attached to a unit or area of study after
      the initial learning has occurred. Often students see this as just extra work, and rightfully so. This is true particularly of high achieving students who have learned to be ritually compliant, they would rather earn the high grade with little effort that to struggle and fail as they learn. They often rather not attempt something that they are not certain will succeed because schools have taught them that failing is a consequence of not learning, rather than failing being and indicator that they are learning.

      Just my opinion.

  • TutoringMatch

    “Still, teachers must understand that learning is uncomfortable, messy, and complicated.” I echo these sentiments completely. Not every student learns in the same manner. We all process information differently which is why education isn’t as clean cut and organized as it should be. Plus when you are “messy” with learning, you add an element of fun.

    • Howard Bennett

      Absolutely! My daughter loves to paint. I make sure she has her space make her mess. Every time I go shopping she wants more painting material. It is fun for her.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ewojcicki Esther Wojcicki

    I agree 100% Learning is messy. Come see my classroom at Palo Alto High during production week for the student newspaper. It is a complete mess but what the kids are producing is amazing.

    • Howard Bennett

      Learning will always be messy. It should be. I however describe it as ‘ordered mess’.There should always be a method to every maddness.I remember learning to cook. I burn the beaf to charcoal color. Then put it under the tap and wash it off and recook it. dash a generous amount of ketchup to neutralise taste. Messy indeed. Taste my cooking now!

  • A Brightworks Mom

    I hope that even the public schools of the future will look like a sophisticated combination of Preschool, Summer Camp and the Maker Faire.
    I’m not interested in my children memorizing state capitals, the periodic or multiplication tables.
    I want them to be CREATIVE, SELF-AWARE INDIVIDUALS.

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  • Azar Aftimos

    I really enjoyed reading the article. Thanks for sharing.” The bottom line is that you don’t have to learn the boring stuff before you start applying it. Start rolling around in the dirt from the get go.” Nice

  • Howard Bennett

    There is an arguement for every type of learning structure. I think there is a place for enquirey based learning but a foundation hass to be set for it to work. No matter what structure we provide in a learning environment, we all learn by doing..whether realize it or not. Would anyone give a sixteen year old a car , for the first time , and so to him ‘go and learn to drive’. I would not! He would have to read that driving book and at least be able to demonstrate some knowledge of the rudiments of driving . Even then, I would have to sit with him and guide him before he can be on his own.
    Developing a method that utilizes the best of all the methods that we have employed over the years, is the best way forward. The word may change but people are still people.
    I beleive that we should not react to change, we should effect the changes so that we can create the kind of world that we want- a world that no longer is covered by the cloud of nuclear destruction.

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