What would learning look like if we gave the children control to create or expand a project part of the curriculum? Wouldn’t it be great if the teachers/educators could facilitate this as suppose to create a lesson plan for them?
what would our children’s mental health look like in the future if every adult working with young children were trained in emotion coaching?
What if we encouraged students to make mistakes instead of looking for the only correct answer? This would encourage creative thinking, motivate students to experiment more, and help them see a setback in life as a learning experience rather than something that defines them.
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.
What if we weren’t so focussed on the assessment of individuals and instead on the joy that comes out of proper interdisciplinary collaborative experimentation and play. It’s not such a radical idea so why don’t we see that more?
What if we swapped our focus on “education” for a focus on “learning” instead? Whereas “education” is often confined to schools, the notion of “learning” expresses so much more. We could rename and reestablish our Departments of Education as Departments of Learning. We could weave programming across schools, libraries, afterschool programs, playgrounds, and more. We could pair artists and technologists with teachers; we could pair social workers and mental-health counselors with school nurses. We could make learning a practice of curiosity, creativity, and love — one led by learners and supported by whole communities (and even whole countries). It’s a change of just one word, but it’s a big change in mindset.
Imagine in 10 years colleges didn’t exist. What would need to have happened between now and then for that to happen – and what would have replaced colleges as we know them today?
It would be great if we stopped seeing education as a linear process and provided different pathways for learners to follow and explore our passions.
Instead of keeping subjects like Maths and Art separate, we should find ways to combine them – bringing classes together and looking at how subjects are interconnected and can benefit each other!