Alan November explains how he would use the first five days of school to lay the groundwork for a year of learning that goes far beyond the test.
When you want to improve your physical health, you don’t have to eat one specific type of food or exercise in a specific way. Rather, you need an appropriate mix of healthy foods and exercise — no one thing is required. Different types of exercise and foods are in some sense interchangeable. What matters is that you get the appropriate dose. Could this common idea from health translate into the world of education?
Project-based learning continues to be misinterpreted as a single teaching strategy rather than as a set of design principles that allow us to introduce the philosophy of inquiry into education in an intelligent and grounded way. It’s time to not only address the flaws in PBL, but to reinvent it in a way that leads to deeper learning, creative inquiry, and a better fit with a collaborative world in which doing and knowing are one thing.
Teaching standards doesn’t necessitate a standardized approach to teaching. Teachers share ideas for providing a standards-based, but authentic learning experience for all students.
Some university teaching practices are held sacred, but perhaps college professors can learn from progressive teaching tactics of K-12 classrooms.
Setting aside the two predominant narratives of education, there’s a third vision taking shape that’s yet to be defined. What would a reimagined education system value and teach?
Three educators went on a year-long journey to discover what makes a great school. These are the imperatives they’ve applied to creating their own school.
For subjects like math and foreign language, which are traditionally taught in a linear and highly structured context, using more open-ended inquiry-based models can be challenging. But inquiry learning is based on the premise that, with a little bit of structure and guidance, teachers can support students to ask questions that lead them to learn those same important skills — in ways that are meaningful to them.
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.