Last Tuesday about 200 hundred educators got together to watch the documentary Most Likely to Succeed. You can catch up on the chatter by looking at the #peelMLTS hashtag. One of the concepts that comes up in the movie is the need to give students a voice and choice in their learning. We thought it would make a great blogging topic.
Watch the trailer for more: https://vimeo.com/122502930
Our prompt for tonight’s blog hop:In your current role, how have and/or could you support students in discovering their passions in your practice?
I remember walking in to Williams Parkway last June, ready to explore. I didn’t know how the big grade 7 and 8 students would take playing with dollar store toys as we created with Makey Makey boards and stop motion animation. I was shocked as they jumped right in and then so pleased to see what they created later that week. That same day, I met a friend. As a former grade 1 teacher it is always odd to have a student that towers over you. If I’m completely honest I am sometimes a little more hesitant with the big guys. I am definitely more aware of their need for space. I was being nosey as a group was playing and started asking questions. My ‘friend’ didn’t say much. Then out of nowhere, in the Makey Makey remixing and the stop motion animation, we got in to a conversation about soundtracks. He mentioned in passing that the tool wasn’t as good as what he used to remix at home. Of course I asked the question: oh ya? What do you use? and a long discussion ensued about the various tools, when they served best and sharing his beats with his uncle, the producer. He was even willing to create me some beats based on my preferred musical style (side note: this is also when you know you are no longer in the cool age group). As I was thinking about the prompt tonight I realized that perhaps one of the simplest ways to discover student passions, discovered or undiscovered, is by taking the time to listen. It’s easy in the business of the day to day to be pulled in so many directions. We can jump straight in to the task, we can misread the body language, we can forget to dig a little deeper. The small act of listening, when I finally took the time, reminded me not only that there is so much to learn about these unique, complex individuals. It didn’t just give me a glimpse in to ‘my friends’ passions and expertise but it also provided me with sparks to make those connections between his informal and formal learning. Who would have known you could learn so much by just listening?
It seemed serendipitous that the idea of listening came up tonight again in the Innovator’s Mindset OSSEMOOC. A reminder that no matter the age of our learners, to move forward in our learning, to engage and most importantly EMPOWER our learners we need to listen attentively.
Want to read more? Hop on over to the blog posts below and join in on the conversation. How have you supported students in discovering their passions in your practice?