I had shared this blog post a few weeks back. During that time I received some wonderful feedback that challenged my thinking. Below is one particular comment that I wanted to respond to and share here on the blog.
|Hi Aaron, LOVE the construct to encourage innovative thinking among students. Empowering kids to use what is already part of their academic skill set is brilliant. Do you feel it may be difficult for them to achieve hero-status (Mandela, Jobs etc.) by being motivated to take on self direction without having been prepared to do so up to this moment? Do they have the skill set to execute their grand ideas and if not, could an advisory board of consultants in various fields help? Professional parents at the school?… I completely agree that kids need to get to exactly the place you’re talking about and you’re bang on in the practical approach – connecting their learning to practical applications is exactly where education needs to go. Not directing them on what to do is a huge lead of faith but making sure they have the proper resources to execute is crucial to their confidence. I hope your bravery as a teacher is enlightening to all of us. You’re on to something! Exciting and looking forward to the results!
|By nicole middleton
Do you feel it may be difficult for them to achieve hero-status (Mandela, Jobs etc.) by being motivated to take on self direction without having been prepared to do so up to this moment?
This is a great question and one we are trying to figure out as we go through this process. What we are finding is that many students do not have the confidence in themselves to identify one quality trait they possess when we ask them what their contribution is. This has opened my eyes to a much larger issue in education where we are exposing students to the real world, forcing them to work in groups more and more, and to constantly think about others, when we have missed the most vital step which is to teach students to understand themselves.
We are now working through many layers of “self”. Some students we are really developing a platform where they are trying to find their good after many years of being told that they don’t have much to offer. How can we expect them to reach this high level of success when they don’t believe in themselves? I will have to keep everyone informed on what we are doing to help alleviate this issue. This project is unveiling bigger issues in education beyond the scope of this project.
Do they have the skill set to execute their grand ideas and if not, could an advisory board of consultants in various fields help?
This too is something that we are working through. I don’t think every student has the skill set to execute their grand ideas. Realistically, I know that many projects will not take off and some will fail. However, even when this happens I know they will still be successful in terms of what we are trying to achieve. If every idea took off, then more people would be doing these types of projects. In the end only a handful will probably work. This becomes a daunting task because we will have to work with students to help them realize that despite a project that did not take off, they were still successful. So much learning is going to happen on this journey. The real world will expose them to realities. The only way to really “fail” is inaction. As long as students work towards their goals, then the learning will happen.
We are already seeing students face issues right now as they develop their action plan. Many cannot identify their values and beliefs connected to the project so now they are adjusting their platform because they have been exposed to idea that they joined their friends and not something they really want to solve.
We do hope to bring in experts and people along the way. Hopefully, as students continue to share their projects and ideas people and businesses will reach out to them. That is what we are expecting. If students sell their ideas the right way, people will want to join their cause.
You can learn more about the project here – http://bettpassion.wikispaces.com/
You can read their blogs here – http://kidblog.org/BettPassion/