Because we are doing inquiry or PBL (passion-based learning) this year, my students have asked more questions than they ever have before in my classroom. Both the students and I are still learning about this process, but I like this shift. The person who asks the questions is in charge of the learning, and I want my grade one kids to be in charge of their own learning.
I believed that being new meant I had to follow someone elseâ€™s advice for the first six weeks of school, or I would be doomed. Now I know that students mostly know how to do school, and we must respect their intelligence as we build community with them.
In his summative reflection about an afterschool enrichment program, principal Matt Renwick shares comments from his students and his fellow teaching partner Renee, who agrees that “many of the students did things in this computer club time that blew me away.”
“Without an authentic audience â€“ whether that be global, local community, family, or even oneself â€“ a learnerâ€™s sense of purpose can decrease,” writes Matt Renwick in a final reflection about an afterschool enrichment program exploring passion based learning. “Lacking that ability to connect and grow, our new knowledge is gained within a vacuum, instead of for others to witness.”
When students in Matt Renwick’s afterschool enrichment club shift from a collaborative focus to a competitive drive in Minecraft, it’s time to get out the Lego maker toys and ponder some fresh questions about the relationships among digital games, hands-on projects and curriculum objectives.