What is the purpose of our work? It is to create skilled, adaptive learners who will be productive, positive citizens. Right? We need to give significant thought to our practices. Our students matter, we matter, and what we teach matters.
Absolutely the sequences of history are essential to teaching. We need to know where we have been to see where we are going. Memorizing names, dates, and places is not something we need to spend time doing when the information is literally in the hands of our students, on their wrists, or embedded in their glasses.
I can remember being told what students needed to be prepared for their future jobs. Things are changing at such a fast pace. Do you think we can provide them with the concrete skills they need for the future? We don’t know the content they need or the skills they will perform, but we know they will face circumstances we can prepare them to handle. Students will need to observe, adapt, learn and trust themselves to be their own best teacher. They will need to have a growth mindset and a desire to hunger for learning.
Helping students see the blueprints for learning provides the “big picture” look. Students need to build their capacity. I provided bullet points of the highlights as we made our classrooms for learning. What strategies do you think have the best potential to help develop student capacity? This should be our focus to prepare students for jobs of the future.
Build a classroom for “working learners.”
- Begin with a blueprint for your workers
- Provide them with the tools they need
- Encourage them to look over the blueprints, ask “why” questions to get to the “what” and “ how” of the process
- Workers need to take their work personally and need to have power in influencing the environment and control of their future.
- Completing the work on one project can be applied to other projects. Helping workers understand and to see how their learned skills can transfer.
- Collaboration and teaching each other build skills to strengthen understanding and deepen learning.
- Looking for solutions, investigating, testing, and analyzing provides workers with opportunities to discover how to question rather than solve. Sometimes solving for a correct answer only misses out on additional learning opportunities.
- An essential part of “building” is constantly checking to assess the effectiveness and performance, giving feedback, reflecting on work, and determining what works and does not.