On Monday and Tuesday, June 25-26, Bo Adams and Jill Gough facilitated a ten-hour workshop on PBL at The Center for TeachingSummer Institute (#CFTSI12 on Twitter). With this post (see below the bulleted list), we are hoping to encourage and support the most important part of any conference or institute for professional learning – the “taking-things-back-to-school-to-enhance-learning” part.
CHALLENGE: Many believe that this is actually the best part of the meal. The #CFTSI12 for Synergy and PBL is complete, but the fun, decadent portion has just begun. As we all know, peak learning tends toward project-based experiences, and students long remember the sweetness of the projects that they taste and savor. Additionally, Steven Johnson advocates for coffeehouse environments that create the conditions for great conversations and colliding hunches. So…let’s feed our sweet tooth and share in those magical after-diner-coffee conversations. When (not if!) you implement PBL with your student learners, share the plates and cups with the entire table – POST your writing, resources, insights, and struggles regarding your PBL implementations. If you have a blog, please consider cross-posting to Synergy2Learn as a contributing author. If you don’t have a blog of your own, we still invite you to post to our collective-wisdom site for PBL – Synergy2Learn.
When you are ready to share and contribute, email Jill and Bo, and we will set you up as “contributors” to the Synergy2Learn PBL blog.
After you are set up as a contributing author, you can keep on posting about your pursuits and accomplishments with PBL.
Even if you did not physically participate in the #CFTSI12 for Synergy and PBL, this offer still applies!
Amazing stories of PBL experiments, implementations, and accomplishments from our #CFTSI12 participants and blog readers (hopefully!)…
Right now, I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on earth…amazing and healthy family, great health for myself and my loved ones, warm home and no worries about my next meal, exciting and purposeful job that focuses on growth of self and others, a spirituality of faith and significance in the world, a life in a country founded in freedom…and the list goes on! And for the proverbial “cherry on top,” I am serving a sabbatical to advance my work and interest on the topic of “The Future of Schools and Schools of the Future.” I imagine I am enough to make even the extreme optimists marginal. I am learning and I am growing. I am not yet the educational leader I will learn to be, but I have every advantage and the mindset I need to get there.
Since March 22, I have been in “phase II” of my sabbatical. Phase I involved a two-week internship at Unboundary, recent subject of a Huffington Post. [Search this blog for “Unboundary” to see related posts here.] Phase II is concentrated on school visits, a conference, and a few “random and invaluable” opportunities. Here is a snapshot of what phase II has involved:
March 22 – student-shadow visit and meeting with Laura Deisley (@Deacs84) at The Lovett School, Atlanta, GA. (a few tweets @boadams1, find date)
[March 22 – attended Jeff Small’s (@jeffreysmalljr) launch of novel The Breath of God.] (a few tweets @boadams1, find date)
From all of those bullet-points – mere place-holders-in-pixels for absolutely invaluable real-life experiences – I am building a mind-map. Here is the start, and it will undergo countless changes as I reflect and synthesize…evaluate and analyze…collaborate and amplify. What is here now is only a rough beginning…a starting place.
What I am realizing already is this:
The single-most important attribute in 21st century teaching and learning is THE GROWTH MINDSET!
Carol Ann Tomlinson said it directly at the ASCD conference. She talked of Dweck specifically.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs alluded to it as she talked about “upgrades.” You cannot upgrade if you don’t believe in growth or fear change.
Chip Heath indicated that mindset is a fundamental thread in directing the rider, motivating the elephant, and shaping the path. He talked of Dweck’s game-changing work.
Peter Reynolds demonstrated the critical nature of a growth mindset as he read The Dot and Ish, and as he showed He Was Me (video below). Creativity necessitates a mindset steeped in growth orientation.
Linda Darling-Hammond mentioned it by name and all but demanded it for our national education policy.
John Hattie, after years of a meta-analysis of 800 meta-analyses (200,000,000 subjects) made it clear – the growth mindset is THE most influential factor in student and teacher success.
My individual sessions all touched on the growth mindset in one way or another. The session on the 3rd Rail: Grading emphasized the possibility that arcane and unexamined grading practices undermine learning and promote a fixed mindset.
10,000 educators were at ASCD to learn and grow, too.
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot spoke about the third chapter of life, ages 50-75, and the need for renewed spirit aimed at growth and further development. Don’t stand still!
The teachers at Lovett, Trinity, Bay, and St. Gregory who are striving to learn and grow are the teachers who are advancing the schools and earning the distinctions among the student learners.
Gever Tulley is founding a school on the entire idea as represented in the philosophy and pedagogy of “learning arcs.”
Grant Lichtman wrote a foundational work on the power of questioning and seeking growth as a learner and system understander of our world and thinking.
Bill Ferriter promotes the connected life of Twitter and other social networking – not just to understand the iGeneration – but to share one’s resources and gain access to the resources of others for the benefit and possibility for growth and new learning.
Jonathan Martin showcased Steve Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From” RSA video to make the point that connectivity and coffee-housing create the opportunities for enriched thinking and enlightened growth as a collective efforts weave together for better ideas and a better world.
I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON…
And then this morning, I read a blog post of someone I met on Twitter at ASCD. I have never met the person face-to-face, but I am learning immeasurably from adding Jeff Delp (@azjd) to my Google Reader. Here is one of the quotes he chose to begin a post:
Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic. – Author unknown.
21st century learning…it’s ALL about your mindset. The waters of educational change are rising. What kind of boat are you building? With whom are you building it?