Sunday, November 13, 2016

November Reflection: For What It's Worth

My title might give the impression that I lack self confidence. That may be true, but my title signals something else: I am brand new.

This simple study cottage in Norway is emblematic of how I see WtS? after experiencing it only briefly. The students and adults are invited into the warm light of seeking and learning. All too often students in our schools are disconnected from what they should be learning because they have never been asked to be part of designing and implementing what they do. They stand outside in the cold, looking through the window at the books basking in the warm light. 

WtS? As a Model

• Students design their curricula as long as it's under the overarching concept, in this case creating social change.
• Individual learners cozy up to a single topic by writing in public blogs using "I-Search" methodology. 
• Learners sort themselves in groups. (I witnessed amazing flexibility as students amended what they had thought they were going to research in order to form small groups, each of which focused on a single story.)
• Mentors work their way toward individual groups in order to help them achieve their goals.

That's as much as I've experienced thus far, but this is a lot! I cannot even begin to list all the pedagogically muscular work this evidences. Student choice. Differentiation. Coaching over "teaching." Learners at the helm... (For starters.)

What Can WtS? Do Better?

I've got nothing for you yet. I'm at the "totally impressed" stage. I'm sure that at some later date I'll have plenty of snarky suggestions.  

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