Thank you for the mentoring reminder. My students will be delighted.
I have done this before but only with the few who seemed brightest. I’m going to try it more broadly and see what happens!
Thank you for the mentoring reminder. My students will be delighted.
Thank you for helping me engage students by drawing them out this way!
Clubhouse member Francisco’s comment, “They’re not like teachers.Teachers just tell you: Do this, do that," is one that really resonates with me. I always laugh when my parents tell me what school was like when they were younger. 40 kids, sitting in rows, with one tiny nun at the head of the classroom. It’s kind of miraculous that their generation turned out okay! As a teacher today, I definitely try to be more of a “guide on the side,” not a
“sage on the stage.” It can be really challenging to relinquish your power, especially in the early childhood classroom. What I’ve found is that if I dedicated the first few months of the school year teaching my students how to be independent problem solvers, once they learn the routines, they can really run the show tgensekves by April or May. I already can’t wait for the spring to roll around!
The analysis on how a clubhouse is designed and formed draw my attention! I liked the i dea all the projcets are exposed in public no matter how simple or complicated they are! So everyone could be inspired by someones else job and make it better or make a brand new thing.
Ιt would be a good idea if we put a box of ideas beneath every project so as everyone could write his ideas on how it could be improved . The creator would have the chance to take some new ideas to improve his work alone or by collaborating with the proposer. What do you think?
I particularly enjoyed listening to the conversation with Philipp Schmidt. I would like to comment on the conversation rather than just one quote .
The nature of education has changed profoundly I believe in the last 3-5 years and for many schools, it still needs to.
Since 2014, I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a variety of school settings as well as immersing myself in many hours of wonderful contemporary learning . I am both an introvert (learning) and an extrovert ( teaching) .
My introvert LOVES how I can learn online through the likes of blogs, subscriptions, online universities, websites , online seminars, You Tube and Twitter. I can just sit for hours. There is so much to read and learn , to integrate into my work. I constantly feel I in heaven !
I understand Phillip’s research about the need for balance. The online learner would benefit from being able to meet up in groups, on a regular basis to unpack key ideas and to share questions and understandings as well as ensuring some time for fun !
As Phillip observed all of this thinking can be described as ‘lonely’ . I believe this is the case for my extrovert but not my introvert !
Listening to this video I have seen and read about many of the ideas discussed. Learning spaces have changed to open areas and continue to move away from chairs and tables, to larger more comfortable spaces where inquiry, passion projects and ongoing collaboration can naturally occur. Teachers need to be retrained to allow natural differentiation amongst the children to take place, alongside planned opportunities. Teachers need to set up the space and “get out of the way of the learning “ so that peers can be the experts, even attempting to enable and extend each other.
There is a new consciousness around ‘thinking ‘. It is now embedded into an updated curriculum. Design,creativity and thinking capabilities have to be assessed and reported on. It is incredible to see how young children are capable of not only reading code but applying knowledge and creating narratives, following Visible thinking routines and inventing games through coding and the educational use of apps and programs.
Digital technology is thriving in contemporary schools. Blending technology with traditional areas of learning is occurring . This new way of learning and teaching is enabling children to be creative thinkers and problem solvers . “Miss we need to debug!"
In these areas, where lessons are carefully planned for and learning intentions and anchor charts are explicitly mapped out, peer interaction and independent thinking flourish.
The learning space that I visited was Scratch, peer collaboration is facilitated because people from all over the world can participate in the site:
I think that more participation between peers can be encouraged if each of the participants can download their project in flash or executable format so that, for example, if they created a game they can run it on their PC.
My question is you have think you that on the Scratch site might be downloaded the project in flash or executable format, in other sites this is already possible, for example, to convert the Scratch file .sb2 to flash they can do it at the following web page:
sb2 to flash
Flash to executable (.exe):
SWF to EXE Converter
There were so many parts of the videos and readings I liked. I have thought a lot through my years in teaching, about the role of the teacher in general and especially when engaging learners in creative work. Therefore the idea of “Good teachers and good mentors move fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator” was especially meaningful for me. Being aware of your role as a teacher both when you plan your teaching and also in the moment you teach helps you to take on the relevant role: catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator. The last role is the one we aim for I think when we take on the three first - and the learner gradually takes on all of these roles as the collaborator.
“When people feel that they’re surrounded by caring,respectful peers,they’re more willing to try new things and take the risks that are necessary in the creative process.” I believe, thanks to the internet, the whole planet has become a learning environment with collaboration but this also give chances to people to criticize others without any respect. Thereby, many people do not want to share their ideas, they are afraid to make mistakes so they just copying any other who made something properly earlier. As a result, we are repeating ourselves and getting anxious about to try a new thing or an idea!
This sentence which refers to adult mentors struck home with me: At Clubhouses, we try to create an environment where mentors feel comfortable acknowledging what they don’t know, and talking openly about their strategies for learning new things.
I work with K-5 students at my school district’s Innovation Center. I’m always amazed at their creativity and problem-solving skills. Sometimes I can’t answers their questions, but that doesn’t bother me. I become a collaborator with the students and try to figure out the answer.
The classroom teachers accompany their students to the Innovation Center. I often see that the teachers shy away from helping students. They don’t seem willing to try, and I think it’s because they don’t want to fail.
How can I create an environment where teachers feel comfortable acknowledging what they don’t know and talk openly about their strategies for learning new things?
I enjoyed all of the videos and readings for this week, but the one that really got me thinking was the chapter about Learning Webs by Ivan Ilich. I know if was written nearly 50 years ago, but I was struck by several passages from the chapter 6 reading - Learning Webs from “Deschooling Society” by Ivan Illich. Although he is speaking about school systems that existed half a decade ago (and many changes have occurred since then, I think he makes a lot of good points about the absurdity of the structure of educational systems. Such as this statement:
“Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.”
While I agree with this view, and I enjoy hearing some of his ideas about how to break apart this system, I wonder if he ever spent time in an elementary school class and understands the challenges of working with a group of young children. I want to play the devil’s advocate and propose some problems with his solutions to the educational system dilemma.
He describes a system where, instead of going to school and participating in activities and lessons which have been planned by a school system (and which might hold little interest to the children) we create a system that allows children to access knowledge through different paths. Children might have the freedom to visit different locations where they can learn through gaming, researching, listening to recordings, apprenticing, etc. Illich says:
“New educational institutions would break apart this pyramid. Their purpose must be to facilitate access to the learner: to allow him to look into the windows of the control room or the parliament, if he cannot get in by the door. Moreover, such new institutions should be channels to which the learners would have access without credentials or pedigree - public spaces in which peers and elders outside his immediate horizon would become available.”
He also says:
“The professional personnel needed for this network would be much more like custodians, museum guides, or reference librarians than like teachers. From the corner biology store, they could refer their clients to the shell collection in the museum or indicate the next showing of biology videoptapes in a certain viewing booth. They could furnish guides for the pest control, diet, and other kinds of preventive medicine. They could refer those who needed advice to elders who could provide it.“
I just don’t see little children going all over a town or village to seek the knowledge that interests them. Would they be traveling to these location on their own or would they each have an adult accompanying them? Would they go wherever they wanted each day or would they stay in one location for a certain period of time? Would there be supervision? Would adult workers welcome young apprentices or would they feel they were just “in the way”?
Elementary schools play an important role as custodians of children who are not ready to roam their cities and towns in search of education or apprenticeships. Schools ensure that children are safe, well-fed, and have supervision. I think that, within the school system, we can provide children with time when they can pursue their diverse interests and act as the “guide on the side” while also providing instruction in some of the basic skills they will need to be successful citizens (reading, math, history, science.) I agree that children need a greater diversity of learning opportunities.
I think we can do this within our schools. We cannot just let children wander every which way, hoping they will find the education they need and be safe doing it. And computers and the internet make it all so much easier. I am not proposing that we sit small children in front of computers all day to view and interact with a playlist of lessons and games designed to meet their interests. I think they need a balance of direct group instruction, individualized instruction, gamification of learning, hands-on construction and investigation, and lots and lots of playtime with their peers. The school day is a very complicated schedule which involves the coordination of the spaces the children use and the schedules of the adults that are supervising.
The skillsets required of the adults involve content knowledge, classroom management, a mindset for experimentation and adventure, empathy, and a knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices. It’s a tall order.
What do the rest of you think?
I wouldn’t have said better. Just one specification: if they ask my opinion on that subject or topic I give them my answer. This doesn’t affect their learning and creativity but let them know that behind the teacher there’s a person, preferebly an X one. Cheers
I liked that one:
“Often, the best way for a teacher to provide a spark is to ask questions.”
I devote a lot of affinity to correctly asking questions. I found out that sometimes I do not get the answer that I expected just because I did not asked good enaugh. So I learn how correctly asking should be and I work on that. Very important is that students have enaugh time to think about the question.
One of the quotes I liked this week came from the Chapter 4 excerpts of Lifelong Kindergarten by Mitch:
[At the Computer Clubhouses,] “we’re always trying to blur the boundaries between teaching and learning.”
I find implicit in this are the following assumptions:
- the roles of teacher and learner are often interchangeable,
- self-directed learning and lifelong learning are valuable skills,
- learning is empowering
- learning should be joyful
(OK, maybe that last one is not easily derived from the quote, but IMO, it is something you’ll find in any great learning environment!)
“Learning is something students do, NOT something done to students.” by Alfie Kohn
From this week’s readings/videos, I found especially intriguing the emphasis on the social side of learning. Furthermore, the fact that a learning environment should maintain a culture of Trust, Respect and Caring among learners.
I was wondering with what ways a teacher can help pupils of 6-9 years old develop such a culture?
In addition, learning space design and setup deeply influences the attitudes and activities of the participants. However, in areas with low educational funds how can you overcome obstacles such as small classrooms or lack of technological equipment?
The four C’s of creative teaching
The quote that inspired me: “the framework of catalysts, consultants, connectors, and collaborators isn’t
specific to Computer Clubhouses. The same strategies can be applied in all learning environments, from school classrooms to online communities” (Resnick, 2017, p.8).
The binomial teaching-learning is inseparable and dynamic, from my point of view. That is why it is very appropriate to talk about teaching that promotes and nurtures creative learning: For the four P’s of creative learning, we find four C’s of creative teaching.
The description of the roles seemed to me a simple (but not easy) way to identify the four basic qualities of a teacher, from a framework that understands teaching as a deeply active and essentially passionate role, there is no place for half measures.
I was fascinated to identify the catalytic quality related to the word spark, which corresponds perfectly with the development and stimulation of the intrinsic motivation of those who are in the process of formation. Awakening the imagination, the possibility and doubt is key in the beginning of a learning really based on interests… Passion, indeed.
The consultant role allowed me to clearly identify the functional point between the two extremes that drain the possibility of developing creative learning, that is, between instruction and passive or non-teacher intervention. It was very important for me to identify the functions of creative, technical and emotional consultation, which gives rise not only to understand learning as something absolutely rational or fragmented of their emotional experience and in correlation with the tangible world, giving free rein to the spiral of the creative learning of both the student and the teacher.
The role of connector promotes the P of peers, where teamwork is a dynamic and flexible process that allows the inclination to learn and teach from all members to really flow. Finally, the collaboration role in which the teacher is understood as someone who develops their own projects, someone who actually lives as a life- long learner and invites his7 hers colleagues and students, to integrate with the example and experience all the elements of the four P’s and the four C’s.
Now, I believe that the dilemma that can be contrasted with the creative teaching- learning model is the point of interest of educational systems to ensure that all students according to their academic level “master” a specific type (with infallible reference of scores) of knowledge and skills. To this, I would call it a standardized knowledge.
So, I thought of these questions: can a teaching-learning framework allow all students to achieve a desirable performance in what they should know and do?
Is this teaching-learning model really compatible with the “traditional” organization of a school, which divides its students by age, and organizes its content by subjects?
How should we build the organization of a school or educational system that naturally corresponds to a creative teaching-learning process?
How should we design the educational process of teachers and professionals in education that encourages a creative teaching-learning process?
After having read and enjoyed the material related to peers, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the importance of understanding the educational system and spaces as organic structures that should promote the qualities of an exemplary and expert educational process in understanding and continuously questioning what is profitable, nutritious and desirable for each individual who becomes part of the world, which can often mean a corrective and eventually proactive role, and in this way, avoid being wasted as an apparatus that continuously reproduces models, actions and dysfunctional ideas, just because that’s the way things are … wait … this sounds to me probably like an idea that derives from a learning-teaching based on instruction, right?
‘By working together, Clubhouse members can take on projects that are bigger than any one
of them could handle alone.’
I like this quote because it makes it feel like nothing is impossible if are working as part of a collaborative team. I feel like this about my job a lot of the time; leading a school is not something that can be done without a team and I hope that through the project I am running with my 8th grade students that they understand that they can achieve more together than they could do alone.
Quote from Mitch’s video:
“Scratchers are able to create projects that no one of them could have created on their own. And they are able to learn things that no one of them could have learned in their own.”
That is the power of collaborative learning environment. These skills which they learn in early ages will make a good impact in their future life as a student (at school, college or university) or as adult at work.
Have you tried getting the teachers to do their own projects but each on own console. Then they might get into the collaborative mode but have security of not being watched while they pootle. Then they might respond as a peer to their kids and be supportive.
Or go formal on them and require them to participate in mini research by noting the issues kids have (anonymous) and whether the kids persist- this it’s off the top of my head and you need to frame the research question s better so that teachers support in order that they continue to gain access for kids to your resource, and you guide that support through the questions in the ‘research’.
Not a quote but the whole extract: It reminded me of all the discussions around how the adult should support child initiated play in UK Foundation stage (and see Julie Fisher research) by managing learning environment, accepting when children use resources completely differently to what the educators had in mind, providing materials / ideas/ support to enhance what children doing rather than guide or manage their activity.
Very tricky for most adults to do!
Especially when time is limited and demands are high for specific skills to be acquired. Then the cleverness is in finding a way to make those skills desirable by being integral and relevant rather than imposed. It isn’t easy. But lots more fun.