What if schools embraced (at least a bit more of) the unknown? Yes, and…

What if we structured (at least some) time in school to provide for the type of research that Uri Alon describes in his talk: “Why truly innovative science demands a leap into the unknown?”

What if we recognized and said “Yes, and…” to the likelihood that genuine and authentic research – the kind that stems from deep questioning and sustained curiosity – is most likely to lead learners (young and old) into the “Cloud” that Uri talks about?

What if we did more science – practiced more of being scientists – than just studying science in school?

What if we reverse engineered (at least part of) school and created margins and white space for the kind of exploration and discovery that bypasses the points A—>B path that we expect and embraces the unexpected “point C” that Uri shares with us?

What if we allowed time for learners to originate their journey(s) from projects of significant and profound interest to them and made it okay to reroute numerous times along the way?

What if we had at least two points of origin for the kinds of work we do in schools: 1) subject-area points of origin that later find projects, and 2) project points of origin that later find disciplinary avenues? What if we built schedules to allow for – and to encourage – both/and? And the weaving together of the two…. What if we widened the spectrum of school learning to more closely match with life learning (before and after school years)? How might we ignite more play, passion, and purpose in these ways?

What if we built capacity as faculty members and community partners to facilitate the type of relational way-finding that Uri declares is the nature of true, meaningful searches? What if we more significantly prioritized the guide-on-the-side postures by making room for the student learners to be the chief navigators of (a more significant amount of) their journeys?

What if you watched Uri’s talk and figured out ways that its corp might change the core of your classroom practices and school-day architecture?

#FSBL, #YesAnd, #DTk12, #MVPSchool

#FSBL –> #YesAnd –> #DTk12 –> #MVPSchool

HOW MIGHT WE weave together: 1) a blog post about student-driven learning, 2) explorations by a father and two sons, and 3) two incredible educators working to blur the lines between “school” and “real life?”

  1. For me, a wonderful convergence happened today. First, while reading this morning, I benefitted mightily from “Start with Why: The power of student-driven learning” by Shelley Wright.
  2. Start with Why: The power of student-driven learning plpnetwork.com/2013/06/21/sta… via @plpnetwork & @wrightsroom #MustRead
  3. Then, my two sons and I embarked on a Father-Son-Based-Learning journey to Sope Creek Park. Near the end of that trip, I highlighted one of the posts from our adventure for @SciTechyEdu. In exemplary improv and design-thinking form, she “yes-and’ed” me. Beautifully, another extraordinary team member of mine from Mount Vernon chimed in with more “yes-and’s.” Now, we have the nucleus of a pretty amazing opportunity for unifying and integrating curriculum and instruction around a core idea of natural area surrounding our school and the water-based challenges we face as a community.
  4. Here’s the #FSBL – in 9 quick auto-posts that are generated when my sons and I create an #FSBL observation-journal entry.
  5. Exploring Sope Creek Park #FSBL wp.me/p3fWuN-bT57V
  6. Learning to navigate & map read #FSBL wp.me/p3fWuN-bT57Z
  7. Sibley Pond, Sope Creek Park, #FSBL wp.me/p3fWuN-bT58b
  8. Info board. Natl Park Service. #FSBL, @scitechyedu wp.me/p3fWuN-bT58r
  9. And here’s where Mary joins in our learning journey and expands the potential of a future project/challenge exploration…
  10. Yes plant & animal id, geocaching, trail maint. &… RT @boadams1: Info board Natl Park Service #FSBL, @scitechyedu wp.me/p3fWuN-bT58r
  11. And here’s where Chris jumps in and expands the opportunity and potential even further…
  12. @boadams1 @scitechyEDU YES and include water table info; explore h2o rights, too
  13. @chrisandres003 Yes! And could write to Upper Hooch River Keepers, apply for grant, etc. @scitechyEDU
  14. @boadams1 @scitechyEDU YES and design water usage/conservation plan for MVPS, S. Spings, etc.
  15. Mary connects our ideating to a resource from Stanford d.school…
  16. @chrisandres003 @boadams1 look at this H20 design thinking challenge stanford.edu/group/d-loft/c…
  17. And she moves to implementation by moving us to “WHEN & WHERE.” This moves ideas to action.
  18. @boadams1 @chrisandres003 I will b in i.Design lab all next week workin’ & strategizing on the ZBoards… Swing by…
  19. And Chris commits to joining such implementation and #ActionEd…
  20. @scitechyEDU @boadams1 love where this is going! I’ll try and swing by Monday. Name a time
  21. For me, this is an incredible example of how a simple commitment to community exploration and discovery (#FSBL) can connect with other ideas and possibilities for reimagining and recreating school. Together, I believe Mary, Chris, and I (and others) will make something happen from this ideation. It is this openness and exuberance and design-mindedness that makes me so excited to work with #MVPSchool faculty and leadership. For me, Mary and Chris translated ideation into innovation. Thanks, you two!