[Week 6 Reflection] I used to think.. but now I think


I used to think educators need to know “how to” first and then teach kids, now I think educators learning along with kids is by and it itself a valuable lesson for kids.
I used to think Scratch is not just a community for learning to code, now I think it is a community for people to express themselves and to learn from each other-by a new tool “programming”. Programming is just a tool, what you make with this tool matters most.


I used to think that our education systems needed a little restructuring but I now I think they need a lot of it. As I visit classes and think about my own style of teaching, there is so much that can be improved. I want to make sure that my classes are full of interest and engagement. I don’t think this means we need to be a dog and pony show for our students, but we need to develop learning experiences that will engage them and encourage interaction and play. We learn much more when we feel we are safe and appreciated. If we create environments that are safe and fun, the learning will expand.

I also want to work to apply this to my professional development sessions that I offer. I think the same ideas should apply. I want to look at ways that I can get colleagues and adults back to enjoying their learning instead of suffering through workshops.


I used to think that because I’ve never “mastered” coding or certain technologies, or because I don’t enjoy STEM subjects as much as reading, writing, and the arts, that I am not qualified to teach them. Now I think that my lack of exploration and confidence in these areas is all the reason for me to dive in beside my students.

I don’t have to know all the answers; I don’t have to rescue students who get frustrated and ask for solutions; I don’t have to create something flawless right away. The “learning” isn’t a successful end product; it’s the messy tinkering, trial and error, remixing, and critical thinking in between that grows you. This is the true definition of a growth mindset, which is what I’ve wanted to cultivate in my classroom all along.

I used to think that math and science “weren’t really for me”. Now I think that math and science ARE for me; it was the way I was taught these subjects growing up that wasn’t for me (rote memorization, repetitive homework problems, and a lack of story and play).


I used to think Scratch was too steep a learning curve for me. C’mon, kids do it, kinda intuitively. Yep, that’s kinda the problem. Even as open-minded, exploratory, and inquisitive as I think I am, I am really rather a dud, boring, and pretty well stuck in a number of mind-processes that restrict my access to more intuitive forms of digital interaction (idk how many times I’ve started on Minecraft). Still, Scratch remains illusive, something I’ll fall in love with some other day. Or maybe today?


This journey has been amazing. It has been really productive to share and read the experiences of the rest of the participants and also to grow knowing how we can open our minds and become kids again.
I think that it was a great moment to remember how we loved to create things and discover new paths, and a moment to think about how we shouldn’t loose that feelings because it’s the best way to work. Be creative, work with our friends and always keep being curious to keep on learning.


Aunque las cuatro P´ no han sido una revelación, pues no solamente hemos estado trabajando con las 4, sino también con la visión de la importancia del diseño del espacio como una forma de incentivar el desarrollo y participación de ideas, sí han significado una confirmación de que el camino que hemos emprendido encuentra eco en otras experiencias y ha sido realmente grato encontrar que otras personas están trabajando en el mismo camino; también un aliciente porque a veces es frustrante estar a contra corriente todo el tiempo.
En cuanto a la evolución de mis ideas realmente me ha aportado mucho la visión de LCL presentada en la semana 2 “Proyectos” especialmente en el uso de las tecnologías: “With Scratch, we focus on projects instead of puzzles…. We see coding as a form of fluency and expression, much like writing. When you learn to write, it’s not enough to learn spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It’s important to learn to tell stories and communicate your ideas”
Digamos que aun cuando sabía que era importante que niños y jóvenes aprendieran a usarlas, la forma en que la mayoría la usa, no solamente puede no ayudarles a desarrollarse, sino que puede crear vicios y comportamientos que dificultan la interacción. Con la estrategia de Kindergarten realmente me parece que ese es el camino y me da claridad para trabajarlo con los maestros.
De todo lo aprendido en estas semanas también resuena en mi la idea de “aprender haciendo”, idea que aunque ya tiene sus años como postura no solamente en educación, sino una política planteada por los movimientos de educación popular principalmente en la década de los 70´s en México, enfoque con el que he trabajado durante la mayor parte de mi vida en desarrollo comunitario, ha sido particularmente reveladora la idea de mathetic (lectura Children´s Machine) en muchos sentidos, principalmente en cuanto a la importancia de la “disposición a aprender” y a “…the most important principle of mathetics may be the Incitement to revolt against accepted wisdom that comes from knowing you can learn without being taught and often learn best when taught least”, el nuevo enfoque (para mí) acerca del pensamiento abstracto y concreto y al énfasis en: “…by asking questions about the methods and the materials used. How can one become an expert at constructing knowledge? What skills are required? And are these skills the same for different kinds of knowledge? The name mathetics gives such questions the recognition needed to be taken seriously” Lo cual explica y ejemplifica de forma tan esclarecedora desde los planteamientos de Piaget y Levi-Strauss.
Finalmente, el haber tenido la oportunidad de experimentar con Scratch ha sido fabuloso y me deja mucha tarea, no solamente para concluir los proyectos pendientes sino para explorar todas las posibilidades y poder ponerlas en práctica con niños jóvenes y maestros.
Me quedo con muchas ganas de releer las lecturas, y de continuar…


Kyra, I am glad you shared your thoughts! I used to have similar thoughts when it came to teaching. When I first had to teach to undergraduate students, I felt rather restricted in how I could present the material since I was given a rigid course plan with a very dry subject. By incorporating some collaborative activities during class, however, I have noted a little more enjoyment from learning. I would really like to take that a few steps further and really reduce the amount of time I spend talking and increase my students’ time to be actively engaged.

It is my hope that over the years the education system will increasingly value active learning as opposed to traditional lecture style pedagogy. While it is easy to deliver a lecture, it is not necessarily fun for the teacher and it is certainly not fun for the students. Active learning would probably make school more engaging and fulfilling for students of all ages.


I used to think education technologies isn’t for me, but now I think that it’s something I am intent on pursuing. I didn’t think I needed technology to foster creativity, so I never did my research into its role. I didn’t know that certain programs have been crafted specifically to empower children and cultivate creative thinking, but now that I do, I’m inspired! My perspective has significantly shifted not only from the Lifelong Kindergarten book, course readings and videos, but also from reading other research from the lab and re-starting Seymour Papert’s book, Mindstorm.

The course is influencing the way I design my programs for children. I am more aware of the playpen vs. playground frame, and it has helped me reflect on my current curriculum. From a design with no technology, I am figuring out how to add some MIT Media Lab fun to it.

Lastly, thank you so much to the Lifelong Kindergarten team for creating this platform, connecting people and sharing ideas. I really appreciate your work and dedication to developing tools for creative learning!


I used to think that I was naturally introducing the 4P in my work - creating hands-on activities for parents and children that they can access through an app -, but working on LCL projects and discussing with the community made me realise that unless I constantly reassess my outputs on this framework, there will be some of the P getting stronger and some being weaker. The 4P will be my second creative learning assessment framework, after the “low floor, high ceiling, wide walls”. :slight_smile:


I used to think the Design Thinking cycle was too advanced for younger learners but now I am thinking that the creative learning spiral or something similar might be a more accessible way to reframe the design thinking process for littler learners…




First, I didn’t have a very good first impression of Lifelong Kindergarten. I wasn’t really sure what it was about and I was skeptical. Something about the title and it seemed to imply that we wanted people to stay immature forever or something. Now I think its great. There are many great ideas and it is so important that we shift our views on education. Project based learning has always held some value to me, but I could never put my finger on why it was important. This course and the book put forth the argument for creative learning in a very convincing manner. The readings and videos mainly contributed to my shift in thinking. There were many great examples of creative learning at work. It influences my work because I am a teacher and this will influence my teaching. Even if I don’t convert to full blown project based creative learning, I still think the principles and ideas in this book and course can be used in subtle ways in the classroom. It also helped me look at my own child and how I can support her in her creative endeavors. My daughter loves to get into things around the house and make things. She wants to make slime, cut up paper, build things etc. She will go through cupboards and drawers and pull out things that I haven’t thought of in years to use in her activities. I used to get annoyed by this and try to discourage her from doing this. Now, I’m thinking of how I can be more supportive of this. I have become more observant of the creative process she is going through. I even am considering setting up a place where she can do this and be more involved myself. This was a great course and has definitely influenced my thinking on this.


I used to think that as a teacher I should discourage “creative chaos” and be more structured in my approach. Now I think that as long as students are thinking, making, treating others with respect, and generating new ideas, learning to get excited about is taking place.


I used to think that learning creative learning was a class that required that I come into the class expecting that everyone would be far more advanced than me and that it would not be possible to keep up. Now I realize that everyone came into the class at different levels and grew tremendously at their level while making a valuable contribution to others in the class. Peers did not have to have the same experience level to benefit from each other. Play for one person might look very different with different tools than play for another. Passion contributed a great deal of motivation for learning something no matter what materials and ideas you are working with. Projects became meaningful because I had a purpose for them. Just like in kindergarten where children have a wide variety of choices of materials and developmental stages, lcl provided students with tasks or activities with a low floor, wide walls and high ceiling.


I used to think that lessons should have identified end products, but now I think that be more open minded to allow for students to take charge of their learning by designing and creating their own products to share their knowledge.

What in your journey contributed to the shift in your thinking? Having the opportunity to hear about many of your experiences and learning environment that are supportive of students following their own interests to share their understanding of what is being learned allows students to take ownership of what they are working on and building off their own personal interests as opposed to the teachers view of what we/I think might be something that they should do to show their understanding.

I think that I have to “relax” more and have the courage to let students “run with it” allowing them to tinker and explore their personal interests…that projects don’t need to fit into a “box recipe” and set out come but there are many ways that students can share their knowledge by pursuing their interests and having fun at the same time.


Acredito que o fundamental para mim foi pensar… continuar pensando.
Não posso querer que meus alunos pensem, criem, programem se eu não o fizer.
Senti no curso o estímulo, voltei a me divertir, a estudar com mais prazer.
Isso que busco com os alunos. Obrigada


“I used to think that lessons should have identified end products, but now I think that be more open minded to allow for students to take charge of their learning by designing and creating their own products to share their knowledge.” @Kathy
This is very much how I feel about my teaching. I have a ways to go to get from feeling to reality and accountability is still an issue I need to resolve in my classes. I do have kids who are getting a whole bunch of little done and disrupting others in the process.
That said, my principal asks that I post what we are learning, why and how we will know we have learned it. I need to figure out how to pose these directives/questions in the context of a creative spiral and content. I’m in the middle of the Exploratorium Tinkering course: Mechanisms and Motion and I love the idea of learning from phenomena. I want to marry that with the Question Formulation Technique. How can I get my kids asking questions they will be able to answer with their manipulation of and observation of phenomena? And when the answers are not observable, what then?


It’s sad to read about your son’s story. And I agree: the real problem probably goes to the kids who don’t have resources (and, more importantly, support) to develop their creativity.

I share with you that feeling of “hey, I’m not the only crazy one around who thinks this is a mess” in this community. That’s really the best thing I think I’m getting from LCL.

Thanks for sharing!


I used to think that creative learning can only be achieved under certain conditions and in certain environments. Now, I believe creative learning can take place anywhere — through hands on projects, encouraging children to pursue their passion collaborating with their peers in a playful manner. If the school system does not provide such an environment, be it at home, or after school activities, kids can still learn to be creative. And I believe a huge part lies in building confidence in children to voice their opinions, share their thoughts and freely express themselves. There are many studies out there discussing how birth order shapes personalities. Have you ever read that the eldest in the family is the most responsible, while the youngest most creative? I believe somehow, the way we treat our children has resulted in this widespread phenomenon. In my personal observation, I have noticed parents treat the eldest differently from the youngest. They place more responsibility on their eldest and are more strict with them than their younger siblings. Perhaps our school system is not the most ideal for supporting creative learning, but there is a lot we can do at home and should be paying attention to.


I used to think that I needed to provide clear guidelines and structure and replicate my own framework leaned at Engineering school/work to teach my students, but now I think that they key is "Low floor, high ceiling and wide walls"
I teach elementary kids Scratch and I have been leading a Girls Who Code club for almost 3 years, and I was worry about outcomes and results. But now I see, specially with the elementary school kids, I get more out of them if I give them a wide variety of options. For example, the last project was create a music video, with original music. They created wonderful projects, I was so happy and impressed. My major requirement was creativity, original music, they did the rest. I showed them some examples and practice loops before hand. So happy with the results.