Saturday, August 24, 2013

It took me so long to find out, and I found out (The Beatles)

What do we want?

Apparently one of the things we want is a project based format for learning.

We want/need adaptable learners/thinkers who can be more independent in their approach to learning so that they are better prepared for a rapidly changing world/ job market.

Is there anyone out there who would argue with that?

We have Student Learning Systems (like Schoology) and we have the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) that lends itself to an inquiry learning approach. I am no longer solely a teacher of content, I am a facilitator.

Again - is there anyone out there who would argue with that?

So - let's adapt. Let's practice what we preach. Let's think!

I can see how we can chunk our English courses into discreet blocks.

We block our classes - we can offer this chunking and we can staff it. We can let the students elect various areas of interest within a structure. We can timetable it and, to a large extent, we allow the students to elect how they use the opportunity.

Maybe it's face to face tutorial time with a teacher, maybe it's working in a learning space using Schoology, maybe it's working in a collegial way with other students.

The Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) is a great example of this kind of project learning.

Students form their own company and learn all the aspects of setting up and running their own business. They create a company, set up roles and appoint individuals, develop a product, manufacture or import the product, market and sell their product, manage their finances, report in an annual report and hopefully make a profit.

Not only do students become visibly more motivated (I've seen it as some of my reluctant English students become energised by a practical project) - often working far beyond the classroom's timetabled hours. They enjoy independent experiences and success along the way that cannot be gained to the same extent in a classroom.

Why have other subjects not built their own YES. Why couldn't English develop a film or writing scheme like this?

What would it look like?