Fabien Cousteau opens his TED talk, “What I learned from spending 31 days underwater,” with these words:
I have a confession to make. I am addicted to adventure, and as a young boy, I would rather look outside the window at the birds in the trees and the sky than looking at that two-dimensional chalky blackboard where time stands still and even sometimes dies. My teachers thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t paying attention in class. They didn’t find anything specifically wrong with me, other than being slightly dyslexic because I’m a lefty. But they didn’t test for curiosity. Curiosity, to me, is about our connection with the world, with the universe. It’s about seeing what’s around that next coral head or what’s around that next tree, and learning more not only about our environment but about ourselves.
What if we celebrated adventure and curiosity (even more) as a fundamental component of the schooling part of education and learning? What if we moved the needle from thinking that “something is wrong” with a child who drifts in his attention to exploring what it is that might capture his curiosity?
Fabien Cousteau offers an amazing talk of accomplishing three years of science through 31 days of dedicated PBL. How might we backwards design from such adult projects and ventures to design opportunities and make room for such adventure and curiosity exploration in that learning segment we call school?