Leaders who demonstrate a continual desire to learn and connect whenever possible help set a precedence of transparency and innovation in a school’s culture.
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.
The opportunity to extend access to technology in the classroom and at home is enticing, but school districts can get hung up on important details like providing a strong network, making sure each child has a device, and questions about around distraction. Of course, no one answer will work for all teachers or students, but one guiding principle that’s shown to work is for schools to focus on how mobile technology will help shift instruction to be more collaborative, learner-driven and inquiry-based.
Created by Dr. Sugata Mitra, this step-by-step guide will help teachers and parents ignite kids’ curiosity and learn about the world through self-discovery, sharing, and spontaneity.
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 an inquiry-based system is to succeed, we’ll need really good human beings in the classroom who know their field, but who also radiate the kind of positive, non-judgmental love that helps students open their minds and hearts.
Public school teacher Larry Ferlazzo shares ideas and tips about how to balance curriculum needs, test prep and the bigger goal of helping students develop the motivation to learn for themselves.
One educator tries a different approach: “It’s a different way of approaching education, with educators not being the controlling force. It’s about breaking down boundaries and seeing yourself as an equal. We’re all just doing the best we can to learn and to try to form a narrative with cohesion and meaning.”
Giving children ample opportunities to develop sound investigative skills at an early age is essential to nurturing their ability to think critically and scientifically as they get older.