I think you gotta do it to believe it… and not just on a do it for the sake of doing it, but for actual outcome, or examination of phenomena/materials where you learn from problem solving with materials. I couldn’t resist (even though I’m battling fatigue and over-whelm right now) I had to take the Tinkering Fundamentals: Motion and Mechanisms Exploratorium course on Coursera and am fascinated by Zubrowski’s art and argument that we need to engage with phenomena on an aesthetic level rather than just conceptual level.
can tinkering be part of a graded assignment?
Their challenge is a tough one, and a valid one. I used to get so irate with 'what’s the point?" and after looking into inquiry I am really glad my students do pose the question, although sometimes I don’t know have a ready answer and am pushed, but I am becoming less shy to pose it to others (like my students… well why do you think it would be worthwhile?) or look up other people’s responses or let them know I don’t have an immediate answer and will have to get back to them on that. You could ask them about their states of learning, what do they recall most vividly in their experiences as students?
We just had parent teacher interviews and my students are working on science fair. They have been mucking about and their grades reflect this. One father and son came in, and I told them straight up the student could play the blame game with partners about who has done or not done what, or he could figure out how to work with his partner because of all the reading I have done about skills needed for the future, one thing that is repeatedly emphasized (aside from creativity) is the need to work with others.
I’ve just started reading a neat book:
I wish you courage! It’s such an important discussion to have with your students, future teachers! Their students deserve teachers who understand that creativity is essential to being vitally engaged.