As I read through George Couros's post this morning, "Passive Learner" to "Active Creator," I made a connection to the white paper I'm reading A Vision for Personalized Learning in Georgia K-12 Schools by Anissa Lokey-Vega and Stephanee Stephens.
In the past, I would say to myself , "Bookmark that Karen and come back later and write about it." However, that "later" never materializes. So, in the spirit of asking our Vanguard Fellows to share and make visible for others the "mess" that is their exploration and learning in the classroom space, I'm going to share my "half-baked" connections and thinking, knowing it won't be perfect and well thought through. I can always come back later and post on the topic with more clarity.
I also remember the push-back from students when I would try some of the activities from the gifted magazine (gosh I can't recall the name at the moment - please share if you can - 1990s) where questions were posed or students were to explore and figure things out for themselves. They so wanted the sit-and-get and fun (and pretty) activities. (And, to be fair, some of those activities made me a little frightened at times because I didn't KNOW the answers.)
George makes the distinction that "empowerment" helps students figure out what they can do for themselves rather than what you can do for them through "engagement." Kind of like parenting, isn't it? There was nothing harder to me than letting my kids go off and find their own way...
Shouldn't we equip our students with the same skill set? (And now, I'm watching it all unfold again with grandchildren...)
So, how do we get there? We are talking a lot about personalized learning in our district. We know that it can and will take many shapes. Thinking about empowerment. Not only does it require a shift on the part of the teacher,
Thinking back to the 90's, my ITI and Differentiated Instruction experiences, I recall Habits of Mind. This book (at that time in its infancy and spiral bound) was plopped in my hands as a teacher here and ended up in my closet. I didn't quite know what to do with it and there was so little time
(Shocker!) Well, the "habits" have stuck and are even further developed... and now I'm hopeful that I can make better use of them! They just may become the core of what we do!
So stoked about where we're headed! Hope you're exploring the educational landscape too! Share what you find! Building together is much more fun!