The World Becomes What You Teach

Yesterday, in a Center for Teaching brainstorming meeting, one of us suggested some curriculum-design work that would go beyond traditional subject-area or departmental curricula. Then, this morning I read David Wees’s blog post about Zoe Weil’s TEDxDirigo talk. In the 17 minutes and 24 seconds, Zoe explains the brainstorm idea perfectly…

2 thoughts on “The World Becomes What You Teach

  1. Thanks for the resource Bo! This is a very compelling video particularly because it comes packaged for teachers from the perspective and voice of a teacher. There are lots of good ideas for a more interdisciplinary approach using sustainability concepts. Where to go from here? See a post of mine on this topic from a similar perspective but not as practical.

    http://rryshke.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/taking-risks-in-education/

    Bob

  2. I love this, and it instantly got me thinking about how we could do this at our school, without radical overhaul. Which made me think of how Menlo School, with a student body, level of expectation, and mission very similar to ours, decided to implement Knight School, a week of mini-courses graded pass/fail designed to “find new ways to foster joy in learning and honor student interest and initiative by providing experiences and opportunities that may not routinely exist in the Menlo School Curriculum.”

    We’ve just had an unexpected complete week of school off, and I think when all the gnashing of teeth about missed lessons is done, next year we won’t find any change in AP scores, SAT II scores or the preparation of students for next year’s courses. So this would suggest to me that we have room, though we may not realize it, to implement something completely new in our curriculum without much impact to what we’re currently doing.

    And I think it would be a very good thing for our teachers to jump out of their comfortable silos and offer courses where they too are more readily seen as learners and not teachers.

    Of course, lots of schools have mini-mesters, and while I think students enjoy them, I’m not sure they really effect the overall curriculum driving the school. But it is a start.

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