This is where we need to go for this next year. We need to reflect on the effects and affects of our learning. We need to assess our learning and the learning of our students: is it worth the change? We also need to realize that this change may be affecting our students as well, in ways we should look at.
With all this change happening in our school, we need to ask the questions:
- Why are we doing this?
- Why are we making this effort to change?
There is a deeper issue at work here that Sir Kenneth Robinson so eloquently underscores in his book "Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative?" At the heart of most schools Sir Robinson believes is our obsessive preoccupation with academic ability and the confusion of academic ability with intelligence. To Robinson there is "much more to intelligence than academic ability and much more to education than developing it." John Bareell agrees with him in "Developing More Curious Minds". Both point out the truth, that it is not so much the academic ability to memorize and recite what is learned as much as the importance of teaching students to be creative and to be curious about learning, to develop further the love of learning, and instilling in students a curiosity to continuously learn or want to learn. That's what this change is about, to change and help students become more creative in exploring new information on the information highway, to collaborate and learn form each other, and to question what they learn, be it questioning the sources, question the books, the Internet, even the teacher. This means different ways of teaching (backward planning, project based, differentiating, collaborate group work, etc), assessing differently (no marks, skill sets, rubrics, etc) and grabbing students curiosity (through the internet, web tools, blogging, critical thinkings, etc).