Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

The wise and inspiring Monica Edinger at educating alice has tagged me for a meme. Here are the rules:
  • Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.
David Hawkins said of curriculum development, “You don’t want to cover a subject; you want to uncover it.” This more than adequately describes my approach to teaching. My classes revolve around central questions and illustrative activities. Good questions asked at the “right” time can deeply engage students, excite them intellectually, and result in significant gains in learning. Once the right question is raised, students are motivated to find an answer. In most cases, the answers do not come easily for students. Many struggle to grasp old ideas in new ways.

I am convinced that people must construct their own knowledge and must assimilate new experiences in ways that make sense to them. What then is my role if I believe that each individual in my classroom must construct his/her own knowledge? My first role is to put students into contact with real experiences related to the topic to be studied, not just textbooks or lectures about it. These experiences can take many forms, and may include, but are not limited to classroom observations, tutoring sessions, experiments, virtual field trips, etc. Once motivated, I must prompt, question, and nudge students into conversation with me and their peers in an effort to engage them so fully that they will continue to think about old and new ideas even after they have left the classroom. My second role is to listen while students try to explain what they are learning, and, instead of always providing the answer or explaining things to them, try to offer further experiences that will help each one uncover and more fully understand these new ideas.

Guided by this philosophy, I am most passionate about instilling in my students (pre-service and practicing teachers) a love for the discovery and excitement that resides at the very core of every learning experience.

I'm not sure I have pictures for this, but here are a few that may work. The first shows a group of teachers during a professional development workshop. They are modeling the vests they made from grocery bags that model the structure of a tree from outside in.
The second picture shows this same group of teachers acting out the parts of the tree and the function of each.
The dearth of pictures of my teaching reminds me that I should bring a camera to class and record what happens more often!

Now that I've had my say, here are some passionate teachers and librarians (who haven't already been tagged) that I'd love to hear from.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you can see I haven't looked at my blog of late. Too busy typing for the national. Thank you for taggin me. boards. But I will think on this and respond soon