Blending STEM with “connected classroom” strategies is a powerful learning model, says STEM teaching coach Brian Crosby â€“ provided innovative thinking, teacher autonomy and flexible scheduling are present. These essential components of “going deep” with teaching and learning have been eroded away in the last decade, he says, and will have to be revived.
I think the revised Bloomâ€™s Taxonomy is wrong. I agree that the taxonomy accurately classifies various types of cognitive thinking skills. It certainly identifies the different levels of complexity. But its organizing framework is dead wrong. Here’s what I propose. In the 21st century, we flip Bloom’s taxonomy. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.
They first learned to own the learning, and now I see a second big change in the way my students perceive learning and school. They are willing to experiment with how to organize themselves and to evaluate if it worked or not. Owning the learning AND owning the learning environment are two separate things. I believe having both perceptions in play is essential for students to maximize the learning potential.
I teach in an inquiry, project-based, technology embedded classroom. What does that mean? I lecture less, and my students explore more. I create a classroom where students encounter concepts, via labs and other methods, before they necessarily understand all the specifics of what is happening. It’s a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. Technology is embedded into the structure of all we do. It’s part of how we research, how we capture information, and how we display our learning. It’s never an accessory tacked on at the end.
I have never had students work so hard to solve a problem and fail so badly. And that’s not unusual in science. For the first time in my teaching, I had meaningful conversations with my students about the high failure rate of real scientific experiments and the tenacity it takes to do scientific research. Failing isn’t a bad thing. It’s one experiment closer to finding the answer.