CHANGEd: What if we taught children, not subjects? 60-60-60 #11

I find a number of amazing educators struggle with the concept/implementation of PBL (high-quality, transdisciplinary Project-Based Learning). I believe some of that struggle is related to habit. I believe some is related to saying, “I teach English” (or math, science, etc.), instead of “I teach children,” or “I lead learning.” If you teach, how do you answer, “What do you teach?”

CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained

5 thoughts on “CHANGEd: What if we taught children, not subjects? 60-60-60 #11

  1. Pingback: Cathedrals, Dr. Pajares, and Leonardo da Vinci « It's About Learning

  2. If we’re really about changing paradigms, why don’t we consider abandoning the idea of “teaching” anything. Let’s focus on the learning. At my school, I want learning facilitators and mentors and coaches to help students process and reflect on their own learning. I want role models, for sure. But for me, the image of “teaching” conjures a sage on the stage. Rather than teaching young men and women (which to me implies that they are all learning the same thing that I am “teaching”), I’d rather work to create learning environments that allow young men and women to learn as much and as deeply as possible (and recognize that they will not all learn the same things at the same time).

    • Steve, you make an excellent provocation of serious import. For the past few years in particular, I have wrestled with this idea of “teaching” (and its particular connotations to which you call attention) and “facilitating learning.” For some people, I have learned, “teaching” implies “facilitating learning.” They see no distinction, but the others in the conversation seem not to share a common understanding for the connotations inferred. For others, teaching conjures mental images of a sage on the stage or a radio tower sending out a one-way signal to a room of rows&columns-receivers in desks.

      Knowing Ezra as I do, I see him as someone who sees the blurred boundaries between teaching and facilitated learning. He is an extraordinary educator.

      I am curious what both of you think about the “need” for a particular cannon of knowledge in schools. Can one facilitate learning while still organizing certain “lessons” around the idea that everyone should understand this concept/content, at least as a jumping off point for further, individualized, personalized learning? Or is it really possible for a gaggle of young people to occupy a common space called school and be in the same room while one is learning quantum physics while another is pursuing Shakespeare while another is painting and making a stop-action iMovie?

  3. Pingback: CHANGEd 60-60-60: CREATIVITY OF CHILDHOOD « Toward Wide-Awakeness

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