I liked the messages in Mitch´s video and chapter - about the high ceiling, low floors and wide walls. Especially the story from the Boston-area Computer Clubhouse:" We presented the girls at the workshop with a challenge: If you could invent something to improve your everyday life, what would you invent?" This approach resonates well with my experience of teaching innovation education - it focuses on the students identifying needs or problems - deciding which to work on - developing solutions and presenting them one way or the other to the world (need-solution-artifact). Innovation education appropriates all dimensions low-high-wide, for different individuals and diverse interests.
Maybe they are not a blank paper, I would think better of a creative engine stopped for some reason.
find the motivational fuel to start the student’s intrinsic motor. the challenge to start an engine that for years could have been stopped for extrinsic, motivational reasons.
di accordo migliore senza pareti
L’educazione senza muri è quella di seguire il percorso dei processi di istruzione accompagnati da un approccio alternativo: non chiudere, lavorare su progetti. con gli studenti di sperimentare, di conversare con la gente, di lavorare insieme sulle proprie preoccupazioni, di assemblare le tecnologie dalle loro pratiche di solidarietà e dalla propria conoscenza.
Seymour Papert often emphasized the importance of “low floors” and “high ceilings.”
It can be extremely difficult to find curriculum or applications that meet these standards.
the tools and tutorials should give the best so that the student who goes by the simple can meet their expectations and their goals, and go higher; and on the other hand, the student who goes so hard finds bases to support himself and fulfill his goals,
and boost your imagination.
In developing our Scratch programming language, for example, we explicitly designed it so that people can create a wide range of projects—not just games, but also interactive stories, art, music, animations, and simulations. The low floors, high ceilings and wide walls piece really resonates with me. As I have offered different after school classes over the years that had some technology involved I have watched kids who were really passionate about what was offered really develop and get stronger in their area of interest. Granted these are younger kids, but none the less they still have a passion and interest. I introduced Scratch as one of these after school pieces and I constantly have kids creating different types of projects on their various interests and they really do challenge themselves and develop more over time. I take pleasure in watching them develop their interests and passions and encourage them to keep on working with Scratch and become part of the community. One of the things I have observed is that some kids who have really not done well at school or not liked it have found a way to like it and be creative and good at something. I can’t tell you how many times I have been thanked by kids, parents and others for introducing Scratch into their lives.
I found the following interesting "It’s common to hear adults talk favorably about activities that are “so much fun that kids don’t even know they’re learning.” I find that through my LEGO® workshops that children do indeed have fun and are learning at the same time. Ignite a child’s passion and you have a life long learner !!
“I’m not going to take up painting in the hope that, seeing me, children will get interested in painting. Let people who already like to paint, paint where children can see them” - John Holt
I like the idea of providing access to professionals as mentors to inspire children’s interests organically. Passion is contagious so bring passionate people and let them work alongside children in a safe environment.
“…low floors and high ceilings, but we also need to remember to add another dimension:
wide walls”. This quote is where we are currently at. I am so excited to be reading and learning more about how to make sure this is happening at my school.
may be we’re writing the same thing just using different words.
Many thanks for your reply.
Low floors, high ceilings AND wide walls!
Hardfun! I love it! As a gifted education teacher I want my students to understand that learning to do hard things builds real self-esteem…not because they are smart, but because they are growing!
Often learning in a traditional school setting has not been challenging for my students as they are naturally academic. I have to find ways to challenge them that allow them to meet a “mental hurdle” and help them develop strategies to overcome it.
We have found that with scratch they are motivated to solve the problems that occur, because they are the originators of the problem and have a real interest in solving them.
Unsurprising, as it appears in may of the responses, the “low floors, wide walls, high ceilings” resonated with me. The ease of access through the first Scratch activity got me started but was still “hard fun” as I spent a long time getting it done. I was sure that I wouldn’t remember any of it when this week came about but surprised myself. Nonetheless, I spend far too much time this weekend working on the next Scratch activity - some extreme irritation, frozen computer but success at the end. The wide walls and high ceiling giving me the scope to create and play.
Your observations really ressonate with me. Limitations do create a springboard from which to work. One of the most lost children I have taught in my career was one whose mother gave her no boundaries. She was constanlty in a flapping state of alarm. The ensuing drama was a huge impediment to learning.
It is rare we work without limitations; two prime boundaries are budget and time.
For me the differenc between my class room teaching and my extra-curricular activities is the presence or absence of curriculum outcomes driving the pacing.
In the club format, I am so happy to have students develop their interests and projects. My science fair in school is interest based: they chose their topics and the small groups work on their topic. We have work on 5-12 different projects at the same time. Without the structure, it is unproductive chaos.
I really love this course because it articulates reasons behind my pedagogical practices which I have been missing in order to articulate justify my approach.
We are making the shift to a steam school so this course is a perfect means for me to share a pedagogical framework with my colleagues.
Problems should occur inside kids’ mind.
thank you for your email
I agree with your assessment.
I hope you understand my comments appropriately.
there were many quotes I liked - low floors, high ceilings, wide walls - was thinking about the equivalent for learning outdoors, mud floors, no ceilings, green walls!
I especially enjoyed the stories of what drove the children’s interest - making a sensor that would trigger the camera on a diary, calculating how fast one is rollerblading etc. Passion is the best motivator…what sparks joy, sparks interest and curiosity and is a visceral feeling that drives learning.
This is the quote I am choosing because in my opinion, as an educator, students will work at the best of their abilities when involved in fun and hard activities.
I agree that LEGO Mindstorms can sometimes feel constraining (depending on how it’s presented and supported). You might be interested in the paper “New Pathways into Robotics” that I wrote with Natalie and others. In this paper, we explore ways to engage a broader diversity of learners, and make it easier for people to turn their imaginations into working projects. After you read the paper, I’d be interested to hear if you feel the paper addresses some of the issues that you’re raising.
We ran a somewhat similar workshop at the MIT Media Lab, in which children used LEGO WeDo robotics kits and craft materials to create a “day in the park”. Here’s a short video overview of the workshop, focusing especially on the importance of giving children the opportunity to experiment and tinker.