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Learning sparked through challenges

What if learning in secondary school was sparked through setting a challenge, problem or question that could be solved by exploring through all ‘subjects’, teachers, children and other ‘experts’ working together (rather than competing) to solve the problem, making links and deepening learning. Working with unknowns. In life we don’t separate ‘subjects’ so why in school. An example could be…Protecting our Environment – in the sciences you could look at the different things we are doing to challenge the natural environment – the chemicals, pollutants etc and the effects on humans, animals and plants and possible ways we can solve these problems… In English you could read and create critical studies around many of the fantastic environmental writers – Rachel Carson, Robin Wall Kimmerer, George Monbiot….and create campaigns for both sides of the argument…. In geography you could look at vegetation, climate, the local water cycle, farming, organic farming and the effect on the environment…In art, design and textiles you could explore and produce protest and environmental art and learn about materials that have a lower impact on the environment….In Social Studies you could look at the effects of politics of climate change / environment….etc. Think how deep the learning would be and how a child (and teacher) would learn about the environment they live in and humans effect on it. What might they do in the future? How might it help the future of our communities and planet. How might what is produced be different each year (if this is something explored each year). How exciting that would be.

6 thoughts on “Learning sparked through challenges

  1. Totally agree – This is true IDL thinking and should be something CFE allows for especially in BGE. In a secondary setting I believe this approach would help student engagement massively!

  2. Would be lovely to go a step further to have a few options running at once so students were allowed to pick the issue or challenge which spoke to them and got their ideas flowing; A step further, without year group boundaries, allowing students across year groups to work together on things that mattered to them with like minded people! Find your tribe, find your vibe.

  3. Claire Marie I don’t know if you’re on Twitter but please follow @g_d_e if you are. This lovely man is leading a movement towards #FEForestSchools, with a focus (not exclusively) on ESOL students. He would love to read your words I am sure.

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