For my own sake … some reflection on our very first Mindlab session last night.
What is the purpose of school? This is a question Miss 13 asks me fairly regularly!
For me these things come to mind…
The purpose of school is for kids to bring out their unique qualities, potentials, and creativity alongside learning values, skills, knowledge, and dispositions which will enable them to navigate an ever-changing world. This is NOT just for ‘their future’ but for NOW. What we need to provide (or help them design) is learning experiences which are valuable and relevant FOR NOW … we are not preparing them for High School … we are giving them skills which will be life-long RELATIONSHIPS are KEY and I have written about this here, here. There was also the notion that education is to ensure there are replacements in the workforce to continue the building of a healthy economy.
My purpose is visible in my class through the modern pedagogy I have been developing over the last 3 years. You can see everything we do at our class blog here.
In our groups last night we had to create a short video which put our ideas of ‘what is the purpose of education’ together with another group’s ideas about ‘what is knowledge’. Our team decided to use ‘Stop Motion Animator’ from the chrome web store. Using pipe cleaners and play dough we constructed this ‘brain’ with the pipe cleaners metaphorically representing knowledge being attained, connected, used for creating, and innovating.
Our partnering team created this little guy who is travelling down the river of knowledge learning along the way through the senses, and previous experiences… the relevant, meaningful stuff to help make sense of the world we live in. Also asking questions and learning to problem solve.
So together our video involved the idea that learning happens best when we can relate to it, when it means something to us, when it is of interest to us, when we can CONNECT it to experiences and beliefs and ideas we have about the world. We also thought that encouraging curiosity was an important part to education’s purpose … encouraging and giving time for students to drive their own inquiry. Much of our thinking was to do with what the kids are doing and finding out and creating rather than what the teacher is ‘teaching’.
At the end of the session we were asked to think about how we ‘lead’ and how we ‘followed’ during this activity. I thought our group collaborated REALLY well on this task. We all seemed to have skills and ideas which we could bring and everyone’s ideas built on someone else’s ideas. Initially I was a ‘follower’ when someone came up with an idea quite quickly. So I used this idea to add my thoughts to this idea and from there our idea developed as more people contributed.
I learnt from this that being even though sometimes we are ‘followers’ – we can be ’empowering’ followers. Meaning we can embrace an initial idea and then build on it with others’ ideas. Rather than thinking our own idea is best.
I learnt that collaborating is empowering and satisfying as everyone has skills and ideas to share with others.
MUST BE THE SAME FOR OUR KIDS.
I learnt that creating understanding in an abstract way using materials like pipe cleaners and play dough is FUN.
MUST BE THE SAME FOR OUR KIDS.
I was reminded about Stop Motion Animation and what a powerful and fun way it is to create understanding of something.
WOULD BE THE SAME FOR OUR KIDS.
I learnt that I have heaps that I want to learn about video making.
MIGHT BE THE SAME FOR OUR KIDS.