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robertogreco : student-led   27

Finnish Teachers Opt for Less Structured Start of School Year - The Atlantic
"Honestly, I doubted whether I would ever survive at a Finnish school, given the high-performing kids and the well-trained teachers, but my confidence lifted when I recalled one area of preparation I had received in the U.S.: how to begin the school year. When I packed my luggage for our move to Helsinki in 2013, I made sure to bring my trusty college textbook, The First Days of School.

“Your success during the school year,” wrote Harry and Rosemary Wong in this classic American teaching guide, “will be determined by what you do on the first days of school.” In my copy of the book, I had written an enthusiastic “true!” in the margins and circled this sentence in pencil. “You must have everything ready and organized when school begins,” advised the authors.

Like many American teachers I had known, I had taken this philosophy to heart—to such an extent that I had been in the habit of crafting detailed, minute-by-minute lesson plans for the first few days of school since my first year of teaching in Massachusetts. These plans were mostly centered on teaching my elementary-school students important procedures and routines, such as those for fetching paper and visiting the restroom. So, in an effort to make “everything ready and organized” for that big, first day of school in Finland, I did what I had always done as a teacher in America: I spent summer days filling my planner and arranging my classroom.

But in Finland, when that first week of school arrived, I noticed something odd. Many of my Finnish colleagues hadn’t visited their classrooms all summer long. The day before school began, I met one young teacher who admitted she was still deciding what to do that week. I was a little shocked. To my American eyes, my highly trained Finnish colleagues didn’t look particularly ready or organized for the first days of school. They seemed naively laid-back. Meanwhile, I felt incredibly stressed, as I strived to teach the textbook-perfect way.

During one of my tightly scripted lessons that week, I told my Helsinki fifth-graders we would practice the routine of walking in a quiet, straight line—and, immediately, I heard groans. Apparently, my Finnish students had been navigating the hallways on their own since they were first-graders, and my plan irked them. Embarrassed, I ditched this task and quickly moved on to another activity. I had entered that school year thinking that, as long as I controlled the clock and the physical environment, everything would turn out fine in my classroom. But my Finnish colleagues and students challenged this notion. They seemed to prefer to keep things a little loose at the beginning of the year. To understand this philosophy better, I recently spoke with a handful of Finnish teachers, all of whom had never been taught the “right” way to begin a school year.

“I think it's important to have a ‘soft start’ in order to let the school routines and procedures gently grow into the kids,” said Johanna Hopia, a classroom teacher at Martti Ahtisaari Elementary School in Kuopio, Finland. In Hopia’s classroom, the first days are usually spent discussing summer vacation, playing games, and exercising together. During this time, she neither hands out textbooks nor assigns homework. Jere Linnanen, a history teacher at Helsinki’s Maunula Comprehensive School, prefers that his students have “an organic process” of returning to school. “I want to start the school with as little stress as possible,” Linnanen said, “both for myself and my students.” This August, he and his colleagues took four groups of ninth-graders to a nearby park, where they chatted, danced improvisationally, and played Pokémon Go. Linnanen described the first couple of school days as ryhmäyttäminen, which literally translates as “grouping” but means something similar to the English term “team-building.”

At my Helsinki public school, I found a similar policy, where teachers and students started with a half-day and a regular class schedule didn’t start until the following week. Even at the high-school level in Finland, it’s “very common” for students not to have regular classes on their first day back, according to Taru Pohtola, a foreign-language teacher at Vantaa’s Martinlaakso High School. At Pohtola’s school, freshmen get an extra day to settle into the new school environment. “We want them to feel more at home at their new school before the real work begins,” she said.

Many of the Finnish educators I spoke with recognized that classroom structure, which typically stems from establishing rules, routines, and procedures, is valuable, but they emphasized the importance of fostering a welcoming, low-stress learning environment first. A similar sentiment is found in Finland’s newest curriculum framework for basic education: “Learning is supported by a peaceful and friendly working atmosphere and a calm, peaceful mood.”

According to Paul Tough, an Atlantic contributor and the author of the new book Helping Children Succeed, establishing a school environment—“where [students] feel a sense of belonging, independence, and growth”—helps children to develop key noncognitive abilities, such as resilience, perseverance, and self-control. Tough calls this a “different paradigm,” but one that more accurately represents what happens in today’s successful classrooms: “Teachers create a certain climate, students behave differently in response to that climate, and those new behaviors lead to success.” One of the most compelling findings of researchers, according to Tough, “is that for most children, the environmental factors that matter most have less to do with the buildings they live in than with the relationships they experience—the way the adults in their lives interact with them, especially in times of stress.”

During my first days of teaching in Finland, I led my fifth-graders to one of our school’s gymnasiums for structured, group games during their only recess blocks. I had picked the activities; they followed my rules. But this routine quickly grew boring, mostly because I ran out of fun games to introduce. Thankfully, one of my Finnish students suggested that we play “Kick the Can,” as it was something that my class had played with their fourth-grade teacher. I agreed, and the little blond boy returned with an empty plastic soda bottle.

For the next few weeks of school, I played Kick the Can with my Helsinki fifth-graders, at least once every day. Actually, it was the only group game they wanted to play with me. Moreover, they wanted me to be “it” every time, which meant that I’d count to 20, they’d hide, and I’d try to find them. Every time I’d spot my fifth-graders and call out their names, we’d link arms, creating an amoeba-like force. If I caught every one of my students, I’d win, but alas, that never happened because a sneaky fifth-grader would inevitably kick over the soda bottle (with a triumphant shout), freeing all of my prisoners.

Through our wild rounds of Kick the Can, I saw that the most valuable thing I could do during those early days of school was relax—like my laid-back Finnish colleagues—and simply enjoy relationships with my students."
finland  sfsh  schools  education  pedagogy  howwetech  teaching  control  planning  student-led  looseness  cv  2016  timwalker 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Oberlin College - Wikipedia [points to section on "Experimental College"]
"The college's "Experimental College" or ExCo program, a student-run department, allows any student or interested person to teach their own class for a limited amount of college credit. ExCo classes by definition focus on material not covered by existing departments or faculty.

Many courses supplement conventional disciplines, from languages and areas of cinema or literature, to musical ensembles like Steel Drums and Javanese gamelan, martial arts and forms of dancing. Other ExCos cover an array of topics, in the past ranging from Aquariums[34] to Wilderness Skills[35] to Hacky Sack to philosophical discussions of Calvin and Hobbes. Due to the nature of ExCo, while some staple courses are continued for years, the overall number and selection of classes offered varies dramatically from semester to semester."
oberlincollege  via:lukeneff  self-directedlearning  self-directed  student-led  exco  highered  highereducation 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Off to camping
"My daughter left this morning on a week-long camping trip with her class. Camping is a big thing at Peninsula. The youngest elementary school classes start with overnight stays in their classrooms, and by 8th grade the students are planning a couple weeks' worth of trips.

With twenty kids and about five teachers, there's a lot of gear.

Camping has been a big part of the school experience for years, and alumni talk about it as one of the most highlights of their time here.

This year they're going up to some park in the far north of the state. So in addition to all the usual stuff, they filled a trailer with firewood, and make up a convoy of four or five cars, vans, and trucks. It was hard to keep track."
education  classtrips  camping  student-led  alexsoojung-kimpang  peninsulaschool  2012  tcsnmy 
august 2012 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: If school isn't for collaborating, why does anyone come?
"So here is what your classroom, and your school, needs to offer kids:

1. A learning environment in which students make most decisions. Where will I work? What devices will I use? How will I use my time? How will I get help? How will I work with others? How will I be comfortable?…

2. A time environment in which students learn and work along a schedule which makes sense to them…

3. A technological environment which supports collaboration across every barrier…

4. A social environment where adults do not rank students according to their oppressive standards."
collaboration  irasocol  pedagogy  learning  schools  unschooling  deschooling  education  grades  grading  technology  lcproject  tcsnmy  environment  time  schedules  structure  rankings  schooldesign  2011  choice  self-directedlearning  student-led 
october 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - TEDxEastsidePrep - Shawn Cornally - The Future of Education Without Coercion
[These are killing learning in schools]

No product = Failure [Product is emphasized over process]

What if they don't do anything? [Worry that they won't learn anything if given control of their learning]

3.9 ≠ 4.0 [Loss of motivation, feeling beyond recovery, no meaning]
education  learning  schools  tcsnmy  success  failure  science  teaching  process  productoverprocess  processoverproduct  time  scheduling  schedules  classschedules  2011  shawncornally  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  questioning  student-led  student-initiated  openstudio  unschooling  coercion  deschooling  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  overjustification  schooliness  schooling  creativity  absurdity  wonder  colleges  universities  admissions  gameofschool  playingschool  alfiekohn 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Chinese school defies rigid exam-focused education | Marketplace From American Public Media
"XUEQIN: We'd encourage the students to express themselves as much as possible through artwork, music, writing. It' just that because the students have been through this traditional system, they have problems doing that."

[…]

"Wang asked his teachers to start moving among their students, engaging them, not talking at them. And that's what chemistry teacher Qin Lei is doing today. Instead of asking students for the correct answers, Qin focuses on the process, asking students their opinions: asking why, how, challenging what they know. That teaching method is routine in the West, but in China it's a radical departure.

Principal Wang made a name for himself at Shenzhen High School in the southern province of Guangdong when he gutted the school's curriculum and let students choose their own classes.

"ZHENG: A lot of educators from all over the country visited our school. They all agreed the system was good, but risky."

Risky paid off."
china  beijing  education  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  student-centered  student-led  pedagogy  gaokao  testing  standardizedtesting  process  processoverproduct  teaching  2011  risk  toshare  progressive  alternative  creativity 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Real Change Agents
"In fact, here is my hard-line: stop saying it is about the students if you haven’t asked the students what they need, what they want, and what is the reality of their world. Just say it is about you or the school and what you find relevant. If you are okay with that, great.

Personally, I’m not.

The voices of change rest with the scholars in your building, every student that enters those doors each morning. Are you listening? Are you bringing them to the table and leveraging their insights? If you want real, lasting change, the answers can only be yes.

And, when you bring them to the table, are you vested in their thoughts?  Are we willing to challenge our own beliefs about learning and teaching based upon their beliefs? Will we leverage their ideas to shape a better present and future?

The time is now to tap into the potential of students as leaders, as change agents, and as powerful voices with amazing ideas and unmatched enthusiasm."
ryanbretag  students  tcsnmy  teaching  pedagogy  deschooling  unschooling  control  student-centered  studentdirected  student-led  learning  schools  lcproject  hypocrisy  desirelines  elephantpaths  meaning  relevance  reality 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Welcome to Kornerstone School - a public tuition-free school servings grades 8-12 in the Kimberly, WI Area School District
"A community based school emphasizing the process of service and exploratory learning for each student. KS serves students in grades 8-12 and will center on Project Based Learning and Service Learning.

If your child craves exploration, is inquisitive, or is a problem solver, then he or she will benefit from their journey at Kornerstone School."
via:steelemaley  kornerstoneschool  education  democraticschools  projectbasedlearning  learning  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  student-centered  studentdirected  student-led  self-directedlearning  autodidacts  self-directed  wisconsin  constructivism  pbl  charterschools 
april 2011 by robertogreco
If you want to truly engage students, give up the reins - Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Learning
"Harnessing entirely pupil-led, project-based learning in this way isn't easy. But all of this frames learning in more meaningful contexts than the pseudocontexts of your average school textbook or contrived lesson plan, which might cover an area of the curriculum but leave the pupil none the wiser as to how it applies in the real world.

There is a line that haunted me last year: while pupil-led, project-based learning is noble and clearly more engaging than what we do now, there is no time for it in the current system. The implication is that it leads to poorer attainment than the status quo. But attainment at High Tech High, in terms of college admissions, is the same as or better than private schools in the same area."
ewanmcintosh  education  creativity  students  citizenship  ict  prototyping  gevertulley  sugatamitra  ideation  projectbasedlearning  hightechhigh  synthesis  tcsnmy  cv  lcproject  studentdirected  student-led  immersion  designthinking  engagement  schools  change  time  making  doing  problemsolving  criticalthinking  growl  pbl 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Independence Day: Developing Self-Directed Learning Projects - NYTimes.com
"What would schools look like if students developed their own curriculum? How would education and the experience of being in school differ for students if they had more power to direct their learning? In this lesson, students consider an experiment in public education in which a small group of high school students planned and executed a model for their own learning. They then develop and implement their own self-directed projects and reflect on the results." [See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/opinion/15engel.html AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmH1wS2NJY ]
pedagogy  education  learning  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  independentproject  schools  studentdirected  self-directed  self-directedlearning  projectbasedlearning  projects  curriculum  lifeskills  standards  collaboration  problemsolving  criticalthinking  self-regulation  leadership  individualization  theindependentproject  freedom  independence  cv  freeschools  democraticschools  autodidacts  autodidactism  student-led  autodidacticism  pbl 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Let Kids Rule the School - NYTimes.com
"Schools everywhere could initiate an Independent Project. All it takes are serious, committed students and a supportive faculty. These projects might not be exactly alike: students might apportion their time differently, or add another discipline to the mix. But if the Independent Project students are any indication, participants will end up more accomplished, more engaged and more knowledgeable than they would have been taking regular courses.

We have tried making the school day longer and blanketing students with standardized tests. But perhaps children don’t need another reform imposed on them. Instead, they need to be the authors of their own education."

[See also: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/independence-day-developing-self-directed-learning-projects/ AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmH1wS2NJY ]
education  innovation  change  tcsnmy  lcproject  democratic  schools  unschooling  deschooling  howwework  choice  collaboration  curriculum  emergentcurriculum  studentdirected  cv  democraticschools  freeschools  independentproject  plp  inquiry-basedlearning  learning  freedom  independence  responsibility  theindependentproject  self-directed  self-directedlearning  autodidacts  autodidactism  student-led  autodidacticism 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Think Thank Thunk » Barthes Remix: The Death of the Teacher-Professor
"I have students that come to me with fully formed ideas about the content of my courses before I even link to the syllabus. Tell me then that the teacher is not dead? Tell me that the teacher is not at least prying loose like silver skin from a roast. Tell me that my roll is not changing…

This is thrilling…I am no longer the information maven…the sole progenitor of facts & figures.

We are free to teach in an environment without fear that someone might “miss something.” Seat time is meaningless, and I love it.

[Examples here.]

And when I am dead, this student will use this information freely, still.

So, should we be preparing our students to be dependent on classroom instruction, sending the anachronistic null-space message that all other learning is somehow second-rate? Or, should we be preparing our students to use classroom time as a crucible for this learning they’re doing at nearly all hours of the day with little care for the original source of the knowledge?"
teaching  change  reform  information  pedagogy  via:lukeneff  schools  teacherasmasterlearner  teacherascollaborator  unschooling  deschooling  knowledge  technology  independence  student-centered  student-led  studentdirected  tcsnmy  policy  2011  instruction  sageonthestage  seattime  atemporality 
february 2011 by robertogreco
If you truly want to engage pupils, relinquish the reins and give them the chance to learn by doing - News - TES Connect
"Innovations in education that engage young people and have the most profound impact will not occur because someone told teachers what to do and how they should do it. They won't come by tinkering with the curriculum or seeking the perfect balance of assessment. The most important changes in learning this decade will come around because someone, a teacher, maybe you, thought that things weren't what they could be and that something new was worth a try. They will get together with colleagues and make time to talk through the possible and seemingly impossible. And then they will go and try it out.

Don't think (too hard). Try."
education  ewanmcintosh  via:cervus  teaching  tcsnmy  innovation  student-centered  studentdirected  student-led  learning  unschooling  deschooling  make  making  doing  gevertulley  hightechhigh  larryrosenstock  tinkeringschool  tinkering  rogerschank  experience  experimentation  experientiallearning 
january 2011 by robertogreco
elearnspace › Questions I’m no Longer Asking
"I’m firmly convinced of the following:

1. Learners should be in control of their own learning. Autonomy is key. Educators can initiate, curate, and guide. But meaningful learning requires learner-driven activity

2. Learners need to experience confusion and chaos in the learning process. Clarifying this chaos is the heart of learning.

3. Openness of content and interaction increases the prospect of the random connections that drive innovation

4. Learning requires time, depth of focus, critical thinking, and reflection. Ingesting new information requires time for digestion. Too many people digitally gorge without digestion time.

5. Learning is network formation. Knowledge is distributed.

6. Creation is vital. Learners have to create artifacts to share with others and to aid in re-centering exploration beyond the artifacts the educator has provided.

7. Making sense of complexity requires social and technological systems. We do the former better than the latter." [Read on...]
georgesiemens  education  connectivism  learning  timewasted  wastedtime  do  doing  autonomy  unschooling  deschooling  theendlessdebate  lcproject  community  networks  student-centered  student-led  messiness  chaos  process  serendipity  criticalthinking  reflection  information  cv  complexity  technology 
november 2010 by robertogreco
How to Create Nonreaders
"The best teachers, I find, spend at least some of their evenings smacking themselves on the forehead – figuratively, at least – as they reflect on something that happened during the day. “Why did I decide that, when I could have asked the kids?” &, thinking about some feature of the course yet to come: “Is this a choice I should be making for the students rather than w/ them?” One Washington, DC creative writing teacher was pleased w/ himself for announcing to students that it was up to them to decide how to create a literary magazine – until he realized later that he had incrementally reasserted control. “I had taken a potentially empowering project & turned it into a showcase of what [I] could do.” It takes insight & guts to catch oneself at what amounts to an exercise in pseudodemocracy. Keeping hold of power – overtly for traditionalists, perhaps more subtly for those of us who think of ourselves as enlightened progressives – is a hell of a lot easier than giving it away."
pseudodemocracy  alfiekohn  democracy  education  learning  motivation  reading  research  teaching  topost  toshare  tcsnmy  progressive  schools  writing  coercion  democratic  student-centered  studentdirected  student-led  unschooling  deschooling  2010  majoritarianism  compromise  consensus  decisionmaking  rewards  punishment  assessment  autonomy 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Steve Hargadon: Free Copy of "Lifelike Pedagogy"
"A few weeks ago I interviewed Marcelo Rodrigues, the author of Lifelike Pedagogy and education director of Escola do Max in Brazil, about his philosophy of "real life" education. Links to his interview are available at FutureofEducation.com.

Marcelo was taken by the fact that another interviewee, David Wood, offered free copies of his book in electronic form during that session, and felt that he would like to do the same for Lifelike Pedagogy. If fact, Marcelo has created a special page and video for the book in order to help spread the word about the educational model they have built and the work that they are doing.

For those interested in how to run a school based on students choosing real problems and ideas to work on, this is a book that will interest you a great deal. http://www.lifelikepedagogy.com/book/ "
pedagogy  escoladomax  sãopaulo  brasil  emergentcurriculum  student-led  student-centered  lifelikelearning  lifelikeprojects  tcsnmy  bilingual  marcelorodrigues  lifelikepedagogy  schools  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  stevehargadon  lcproject  via:hrheingold  projectbasedlearning  brazil  pbl 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Escola do Max - English
"The methodology applied at Escola do Max motivates the students and brings along some meaning with the knowledge. The child needs to want to learn and to understand why the activity is being done. For this reason, the methodology follows some steps:

1. The children democratically choose what they want to learn.

2. Children raise questions and hypothesis towards the theme they’ve chosen

3. Together with the teacher, the children start searching about their project.

4. They decide a conclusion activity, which is the main point of the project. It can be a trip, an event, whatever they decide.

5. The children develop several activities in order to reach their goal.

6. The children achieve their conclusion.

In order to understand the development of the Project according to these steps, let’s analyze a practical situation that happened at Escola do Max."
pedagogy  escoladomax  sãopaulo  brasil  emergentcurriculum  student-led  student-centered  lifelikelearning  lifelikeprojects  tcsnmy  bilingual  marcelorodrigues  lifelikepedagogy  schools  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  stevehargadon  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  brazil  pbl 
august 2010 by robertogreco
More Educator Luddites Please | The Compass Point
"The educator luddites I have in mind are people who have always understand school to be more than test prep and who see themselves as far more than the agents of a standardized testing industry. I see them leading the way to create inquiry driven schools where students and teachers are not too busy to think. Schools where the technology serves the learning rather than drives the teaching and where the demand for original work is a collaborate effort to solve compelling problems to which no one present knows the answer. In such a school, the curriculum is not driven by the textbook, the flow of information is not unidirectional, learning is networked and students and teachers work together across the boundaries of age and experience as active seekers, users and creators of knowledge. In this rosy picture, individual schools form a kind of globally aware and networked cottage industry of creative learning."

[via first comment at: http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/the-new-storywhos-doing-it/ ]
education  learning  educatorluddites  unschooling  deschooling  apprenticeships  mentorships  autodidacts  progressive  cv  tcsnmy  technology  internet  web  hierarchy  organizations  toshare  topost  gamechanging  whatmatters  michaelwesch  neilpostman  charlesweingartner  maxinegreene  elizabetheinstein  socrates  literacy  citizenship  civilization  society  standardizedtesting  student-led  participatory  crapdetection  mentorship 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Motivating Students to Get Behind the Counter
"The clarifying metaphor that strikes me, however, is that autonomy, mastery, and purpose — which are really the core ingredients of generative thinking — can be made available to students if we can get our young people out of the single-file line that has formed in front of the counter and motivate them to grab an apron and explore what’s behind the counter."
teaching  learning  autonomy  motivation  danielpink  carriezuberbuhlerkennedy  mastery  purpose  inquiry  relevance  tcsnmy  generativethinking  thinking  unschooling  deschooling  independent  caroldweck  flow  intrinsicmotivation  inquiry-basedlearning  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  choices  studentdirected  student-led  student-centered  assessment  grades  grading  effort  risktaking 
april 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: The Parent Trap
"parental choice often works against child best interests. Parents pick schools based on status, on homogeneity, on sports, on reputation. The quite broken school systems of Northern Ireland are the result of "parental choice,"...
education  irasocol  policy  choice  schoolchoice  publicschools  northernireland  parenting  segregation  selfishness  studentdirected  student-centered  student-led  tcsnmy  learning  schooling  schools  society 
march 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: When rethinking the school itself... [This sounds so familiar, validates much of our thinking.]
"Holland Christian decided a few years ago to become a 1:1 school...realized that changing student tools was just one part of rethinking...needed to rebuild & reorganize - new tools would only be meaningful if educational environment altered in ways that let the tools really change things...dropping text books for authentic materials & acceptance of multiple - & student chosen - ways of demonstrating knowledge...rebuilding classrooms so there was no "front"...1:1 initiative that had been shaped by a commitment to rethinking school, & centering the form of school on what students need now - collaboration, access to & effective use of global information, trust in students, belief in leveraging the world of today rather than avoiding it, and universal design..."The equipment really isn't important, we've learned to embrace the student control and interaction & we'll keep doing that.""
1:1  apple  education  lcproject  tcsnmy  learning  deschooling  gamechanging  slow  rethinking  unschooling  student-led  reorganization  schools  schooling  laptops  technology  mobilephones  smartboards  hollandchristian  michigan  1to1 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Futurelab - VISION magazine - 'Hands-on' learning
"In today’s shifting education climate, few people would assert that a teacher standing in front of a class is the only, or even the most, effective way of helping children to learn. Encouraged by the government to pursue a more “creative” curriculum, in both primary and secondary schools, teachers are exploring different ways of developing independent learners, creative thinkers and able team-workers. A participatory approach to learning is increasingly coming to the fore, where the whole class works as a team and the teacher learns alongside the pupils, taking the role of a guide or facilitator, while pupils take responsibility for important aspects of decision making."
creativity  teaching  schools  handson  projectbasedlearning  drama  participatory  studentdirected  student-led  collaboration  tcsnmy  lcproject  pbl 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Student-led learning at Calgary school draws interest from Down Under ~ Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes
""The ability to let students decide how to approach their subjects encourages them to take ownership of their learning, said Danis. 'The more choice you give kids, the deeper the learning is,' he said." You know, people say I'm just an idealist for promoting student-directed learning, but I've been pointing to successful examples for years, and I've come to think that the impractical idealists are those who cling to the old and outmoded models of instruction in the faith that, unlike last year, it will work this year."
education  learning  self-directedlearning  self-directed  student-led  studentdirected  stephendownes  schools  schooling  alternative  change  idealism  tradition  lcproject  tcsnmy 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Student-led learning at Calgary school draws interest from Down Under
""You walk into these schools and you find they're calm, they're purposeful. They are full of engaged students where students feel safe to learn at their own pace in ways they want to learn," Brennan said.

Bishop Carroll is a far cry from the school experience most adults recall from their own education, concedes principal Daniel Danis. Instead of classrooms, the building is divided into subject areas where students come and go at will. The science room features students working on individual assignments at large desks as well as a wing of lab stations for groups to work on their projects. Teachers and assistants hover throughout, ready to answer questions."

[via: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=50863 ]
tcsnmy  lcproject  studentdirected  student-led  self-directedlearning  learning  progressive  schools  schooling  alternative 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Serendipity at Bionic Teaching
"That’s what I want out of schools. I want them to create more opportunities for teachable moments, more chances for kids to follow their passions and interests, more pathways and more flexibility. I want schools orchestrating chances for serendipity.
serendipity  teaching  learning  self-directed  exploration  wisdom  schools  schooling  students  student-led  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness 
september 2009 by robertogreco

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