Monday, August 24, 2009

Change, Predictability, Spontaneity, and Education

Shelley over at Teach Paperless always is “pushing the envelope” and I mean that in a GOOD WAY!

Today his post is a response his previous post and the comments that post generated. (His posts are always something for discussion!)

Schools need to be safe for students, but change and spontaneity are not mutually exclusive from safe, predictable education. There is a place for all of these aspects in education today!

Shelley says

So I'd say that you've got to be open to spontaneity. That doesn't mean you can just wing it; after all, as any jazz musician will tell you, you've got to bring your A-game to any improvised set. Improvisation is an artform. It needs to be practiced and honed; the artist needs to learn from mistakes and assumptions. But, in the hands of a serious practitioner, improvisation -- and the disruption of predictability -- is a nuanced method of expressing understanding, compassion, and new forms of accessibility.
And I'd argue that these are the things kids need more of in school.

I have to say that many of my “greatest lessons ever taught” happened with spontaneity. In the “heat” of the lesson, things happen and students respond, and life changes. The lesson may go down another path, but if there is learning, we all go home winners!

What art form is in your lessons?

Do wing it?

Are your lessons practiced & honed?

Do you learn from your mistakes & assumptions?

Do you convey these lessons to your students?

[As always, in my author quotes, the underlines, color changes, and bold type is mine, not the author’s!]

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