Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, October 27, 2013 2:27 PM

beehive.bee.jpg


"If we want children to be inventors,
we have to give them opportunities to invent."

- 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Making Learning Real
Video Below

by C.J. Westerberg

I sometime hear two questions from parents and educators about schools and learning: Are they (students) really learning anything?  Are they (teachers) really teaching anything?  when referring to hands-on work as an integral part of the learning process. And we're not talking about a weekly "rigged" science lab that's not really about experimentation and discovery
when we speak of hands-on integration.

What sorts of relationships characterize a school in which everyone,
child and adult,  
is on an active learning journey?

- Video below  

Let's face it - there are a number of people (policy-makers, parents, grandparents) who get
very nervous when they don't see the traditional signs or evidence of learning supposedly taking place, which follow the lecture-worksheets-quiz-homework-test-standardized test schooling protocol. Even with technology being implemented in schools today, most fall within the above-mentioned protocol but delivered via technology. 

Anything out of this sequenced pattern is often viewed as a waste of learning time or as a fun break (true if hands-on projects are done poorly without planning but that is not what we are talking about here). Worse still, I still hear again and again from parents, even those who are highly-educated, how much Johnny is learning based upon the heft of his text book or how much homework is assigned! 

Worse still, I hear again and again from parents,
even those who are highly-educated,
how much Johnny is learning based upon the heft of his text book or
how much homework is assigned!


With that being said, I'm glad to see this 6-minute video series about the acclaimed Mission Hill School founded by Deborah Meier, an educator whose work I admire.  We are featuring
the 3rd in a series, Making it Real, which will connect the dots for many people of what this hands-on learning looks like and how and why it works. 

Here are the gem quotes or just skip to the VIDEO below.

2:08.
Teacher:  For me to print out a xerox and memorize all the organelles, I don't get the point . . . They'll absorb it in a meaningful way when they need to . . .
Knowing how to find the information and how to solve the problem is most important

2:53 
Kids can express how something works through building
or learn measurement through construction

3:15 
Kids have to support a statement or theory through evidence, not just say so

4:20 
Kids now have to think about what they want to teach OTHERS at the Bee Fair

5:00 
"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent."
"If we want them to be artists, create lots of opportunities to create art".
"If we want them to be problem solvers, we give them moments of independence to help them figure things out for themselves . . ."


5:35 
           "Some of us need to move to learn best."
           "Some of us need our fingers to touch and our eyes to see."
           "Some of us need time alone and some of us need to talk to others to spark ideas, 
            draw conclusions or see the world differently."


###
This post was previously published by The Daily Riff and updated. 
 
Related Links The Daily Riff:
Hacking School Ratings & Test Scores w/Deborah Meier on Consortium Schools

A Box or a Spaceship? What Makes Kids More Creative?

Mother Nature's Child: A New Documentary


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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

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