[Wk 6 - Reflection] I Used to Think, Now I Think


#1

We are curious to know how your ideas have evolved, based on the activities and discussions in Learning Creative Learning.

One way to reflect on your LCL journey is to fill in this sentence:

I used to think … , but now I think …

In addition to filling the blanks, share your reflection:

  • What in your journey contributed to the shift in your thinking?
  • How might it influence your work?

This post is also available in Italiano, Español, 日本語, Português


Week 6 in the LCL Community!
#2

#3

I used to think there was little opportunity to develop teachers in a way that allows them to understand and appreciate the need for creativity in all academic areas. I used to think it was impossible to model while developing the teachers so that they were able to experience it as a student and reflect what they needed/could do in the classroom so that their students get the same experience. Now I think that we can give teachers low floors, high ceilings, and wide walls and that we can offer a better way for teachers to make their class engaging and develop deeper connections if they follow the tenants of the 4Ps.

The journey has allowed me to connect to people that work, think, anguish over similar things. I have been able to establish rapport with people all over the globe, from Europe to Central and SouthAmerica. I have been able to read through their ideas, the things that engage them, the things in their past and present that mean something to them. I have been able to see them take agency over the things we produced in our class and collaborate with each other on fun projects.

This experience will serve for me to continue to commit to making connections with people that are consistently pursuing a new way of thinking about teaching and learning. It will filter into the way I personally learn and connect with the idea of my own learning and how I build connections. I think in one of our reading we discussed that people either learn through patterns or learn through characters. I feel I can explore more since I have been given the opportunity to connect with people through the activities and the assignments.


Week 6 in the LCL Community!
#4

At the start of the LCL class, based on the initial readings, I thought that the area I might need the most work on would be play. But if play is more the spirit of tinkering and experimenting, I have that one covered! I play most of day with a variety of media: cooking, fiber arts, redecorating/remodeling, etc. Through LCL I learned that what I need is to find more projects that bring people together to collaborate. Of course, I can knit with the knitting group, bake with friends and remodel the bathroom with contractors. Although each is a passion project, they are fairly homogenous: all knitting, all baking, all construction. My next step is to find a more heterogeneous group that comes together for a project. A mini computer clubhouse at a local middle school? Volunteer with ESL? Figure out a way to repurpose books donated to the Library bookstore that are obsolete (encyclopedia sets) or too damaged to sell? Lots to consider.

Thank you all for your inspiration!


#5

I USED TO THINK that there are so many ways to approach teaching with technology that I had to learn them all.

  • POSITIVE outcome. That study gave me a versatile vocabulary that I am happy that I have. I am able to talk with and learn from techies, humanities, designers, biz folks, scientists, and artists with competency

  • NEGATIVE outcome. That study left me without direction and, in turn, filled me with doubt. And while I think a good amount of doubt is healthy, too much doubt is crippling.

NOW I THINK that my practice of teaching tech needs to come from mindfulness of myself and others and that assignments should be written with this as a guide.

Exploring connections to The 4Ps:

  • PASSION speaks to mindfulness of self - to know what drives me
  • PEERS speaks to mindfulness of others - to collaborate with empathy and inclusion
  • PROJECTS is what we do together and create for each other
  • PLAY is the spirit we embrace. Play and generosity

special thanks to @gulen and @dalsdorf and others for conversations that led me here. And thanks to the LCL teaching team for holding the space for these conversations to happen. This focusing on mindfulness might not sound like a big shift, but for me, it really feels like one. A winnowing down to an essence. A rediscovery of how we connect.


#6

I’m sorry to hear the doubts and directions are not feeling so hot!
Does the lack of direction come out of a sense of too many possibilities?
What is giving you doubts, if I may ask?
I’ve found your insights, questions and reflections really stimulating and valuable.

I have cued up the Rick Hanson ted talk about mindfulness as a perpetual sense of inadequacy drives me (to distraction and distress to varying degrees.)
I have been working of the idea that I am adequate, I am enough with the good old woo-woo acupressure technique of tapping, from EFT (emotional freedom technique). My scientific dad poo-poos it, and my woo-woo mom embraces it, but I have found it helpful so be it placebo or knowing beyond our current measuring abilities of science, it works for me!

I like this site for specific ‘scripts’ https://tappingqanda.com and here’s a video with the points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCoMuM4rdpE&index=9&list=PLC4ED13CDD088203B


#7

Thanks for the videos.

Yes, this question of yours is accurate: “Does the lack of direction come out of a sense of too many possibilities?”

I hear you about your mom and dad. I’m not 100% sold on neuroplasticity but I am 100% sure that m mindfulness practice is helpful. I find it pretty centering.


#8

A brief “used to think / now” reflection. I almost skipped this round of LCL since I’ve participated previously, but instead I chose to focus on Passion. I did the making activity each week but have not repeated readings and reflections. At the outset I indicated that I would try to avoid getting stuck. What I meant by this is that I would make what I want, share or even overshare, and not second-guess these moves. This approach is in conflict with my perfectionist streak. Two insights have emerged in this process.

One, for me as an individual, I had a lot of fun and was on balance more productive than I am when I insist on having all my ducks in a row (as one says) before beginning.

Two, as a teacher, I discovered that my 1st or 2nd iterations are better manipulatives for teaching than more elaborately wrought artifacts that emerge from a more measured and thorough process. (For example, this has been a wonderful provocation to share with students [how can you make the robot move forward?], and more recently I found that this was a wonderful provocation for a student who is experienced with coding but not with wiring [wire the 4 dc motors so that the wheels drive the vehicle in one direction {I soldered wires to the motors using a different color coding schematic on each side of the vehicle; the polarity of the motors gets turned around - an interesting mirror image / patterning problem} ] .

How to maintain this passionate approach in an ongoing practice?

In a side conversation this week with a brain scientist, I was surprised when asked what makes me most effective in my work to name Exercise, Food, Sleep - specifically a sleep that is sufficient to allow me to harvest ideas from dreams. My most successful teaching prompts and frameworks all come from dreams.

I think it’s wonderfully appropriate to a Lifelong Kindergarten mindset to prioritize, as we do for children, these basic building blocks of physical health.


#9

I loved your interpretation of 4P’s around mindfulness.


#10

I will have a special thank you @Xanthe_Matychak because your ideas both helped me develope new insights and even organize my ideas to be able to discuss about them.


#11

Forgot to say one more thing about the “negative outcome”. Too much doubt is really annoying and as I experienced, the best way to cope with that feeling is again to turn back to yourself and figure out the issue that interrupt you much or you need to concentrate on. Focusing only on an issue that you care about most will help to find a way to tackle with others too.


#12

I think I have to print this up on a t-shirt. Well said!


#13

Thanks. It’s a start. Looking forward to seeing how it evolves


#14

I agree with you that being in the habit of taking care of myself physically puts me in a good place to do creative projects.

But I also wonder how much the social aspect of this course helps move projects along. My partner is a writer and he belongs to two small writing groups that meet every few weeks. This seems to keep the work moving.


#15

Glad you bring up the social aspect, and agree. On several occasions I thought this round of LCL was succeeding as a “~virtual makerspace” (a unicorn-like concept which is often contested). I wonder whether others experience LCL as a virtual makerspace?


#16

Usually my thoughts locked in my head,had no place in the reality of life/work,after this session i began to turn ideas to practice!


Week 6 in the LCL Community!
#17

may I ask why you’re not sold on neuroplasticity?


#18

I have a weird answer for that. I have dear friends who struggle with depression so I give that disclaimer so as to give them an out. I don’t want them to feel shamed by reading something that comes off like “Neuroplasticity is awesome. If you don’t practice mindfulness, then you’re wrong.”

Does that make any sense?


#19

That makes a lot of sense! Another angle I take on the same challenge, is that are brains are all different and what works for one, certainly won’t work for another.
Rick Hanson’s talk makes me think of the 2 minute journal my sister gave me. https://globalhappiness.org/books/two-minute-mornings/
I think I have already mentioned it. That one helps me a lot… when I remember to do it. Writing has given me a safe place for expression and exploration over the years so I have a lean toward that tool already. The brevity and focus help me very much.


#20

I used to think students needed to be shown or be given a set of instructions before even attempting to start working on a project,* but now I think that it is important to allow students to create their own projects, this does not mean that they wont need support, encouragement, peers, examples and time.

  • What in your journey contributed to the shift in your thinking?
    I think everything, the hands on projects, videos, readings and others contributions made, showed me how valid creating learning is and more importantly how it can be applied to children and adults and at work but also at home.

  • How might it influence your work?
    it will influence my teaching, tutoring and parental skills greatly. It truly has been an eye opener that has let me eager to start applying what I have learned when I have an opportunity to do so.

Thank you !!