Looking for a blog to comment on took much longer than I wanted it to. I followed a strange path and finally ended up looking at David Warlick's 2¢ Worth and found a blog post that moved me enough that I wanted to comment. The post is titled Is School 2.0 the Wrong Conversation. In it he suggests that we should be looking at the students we want to graduate from our schools and design schools that inspire those students. He says:
Perhaps, rather than trying to define the classroom and the school of the 21st century, we should be imagining and describing the student/learner of this post-industrial and change-fueled time.
- What will they talk about after school?
- How will they act after school?
- What will homework become to them?
- What products will they bring home or into their communities?
- In what ways might their personal passions be manifestly tied to their school?
- How might they excite their parents, neighbors and greater communities?
If we can answer these questions, recognizing that we don't all need to come to the same answers, then we can design the schools that inspire those students.When I read this it made me stop. I have been in education for almost 35 years, and have seen all sorts of changes, usually in response to "bad reports". The students weren't making enough progress, they weren't scoring well on the standardized tests, the reading levels hadn't improved enough, the math scores were bad and so on. I don't believe there was ever a change to the books used or the curriculum chosen because students didn't talk about what they did in school that day when they left. We didn't change the math books because it wasn't meeting the needs of students who had passion for math. We changed the books, the methods, the curriculum because the products coming out of school did not meet the standards set and pass final inspection.
While searching for a blog I felt moved to comment on I found a reference to "Makers". I'm guessing I'm late on the scene of this particular term because I saw references to it from 2011. I don't have and haven't had a television in my house since 1993. I am not up to date on some of the most current trends, but as I have told many people over the years, I have much more time to do. From the website, The Maker Education Initiative, the mission of the site is to:
"...create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts--and learning as a whole.
|very cool cat tree!|
The maker movement is, I believe, a need for people to show that they can DO, they can produce and not just consume. My husband works with teens and has said that many lose their way because they don't have a purpose. Perhaps becoming makers gives us a purpose. It gives us a way to show ourselves and the world that we can do. We spend much of our time, in school and at work, doing what must be done, but not doing that which moves us. We can't wait to be done so that we can get out and follow our passions. If we can answer the questions posed by David Warlick and change what school looks like, perhaps we can have students who can't wait to get to school to follow their passions.