#fsbl is “Father-Son-Based Learning.” (Like #PBL is project-based learning, passion-based learning, problem-based learning, place-based learning, etc.)
#fsbl is about a few things:
- spending time with my sons and chronicling our adventures together
- making sure that their curiosity does better than merely surviving their formal education
- being explorers and grateful ethnographers of our world
- practicing the skills of innovators, design thinkers, engaged citizens, and deep learners
- digging deeply into #PBL through the adjacent experiments of #fsbl (so that we can positively affect the bigger system Einstein is talking about in his quote)
The First #fsbl
When PJ, my older son, was almost five, I drove the two of us to Lindberg Station – on Atlanta’s public rail system called MARTA. That was the last lead decision I made for the next eight hours. PJ figured out how to gain entry to the MARTA station, how to decide where we were going to go, what we were going to stop and do along the way, how to read the maps, whom to talk to for information and advice, etc.
He had a ball!
We were having an adventure.
Along the way, I would ask PJ what he was curious about, what questions he was pondering, what he was thinking and wondering. Of course, he would just freely talk to me, too.
As PJ thought out loud, I would email a picture and some brief text to a blog that I set up for archiving our observations and adventures. I would add a subject line to the email for a topic heading, and I would include the hashtag #fsbl. On the other end, the blog would process the email into a blog post and auto-tweet the posting with the hashtag #fsbl.
And a methodology was born ~ the observation journal.
A Continuous Adventure
Now both of my boys – PJ (born in 2004) and JT (born in 2007) – lead us on numerous adventures for #fsbl, and they pretty much drive the periodic recording and archiving via the observation journals. I still do some prompting – it depends on what we’re doing and in what ways they are immersed at the moment. Occasionally, A-B, my wife, joins us, too. And, Lucy, our dog, as well. We’ve broadened the journaling to include various small moments that we see as connected to our continuous exploring, discovering, adventuring, and archiving.
At certain junctures, and for various lengths of time, the #fsbl opens up project work and passion pursuits for the boys and me. The discoveries uncover deeper work that we want to do, and we become settlers for awhile on certain project grounds.
These explorations and adventures with my sons – our #fsbl – are some of the greatest and happiest moments of my existence. And the learning has been profoundly helpful in my research and practice as a professional educator in the field of #PBL. In fact, #fsbl led to the scaling up of the practice and became the nucleus of the idea that became #Synergy.
- Check out this Storify about the intersections of #fsbl and inquiry-based learning at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.
- At EduCon 2.5, I gave an Encienda presentation (like an Ignite session) about #fsbl and its development into #Synergy.
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