As an educator, I value every word my students write or speak when it comes to their learning journey. Listening to my students and applying their ideas, concerns, and aspirations has led me to improve my role as a lead learner in what I consider ‘our’ learning community (formerly known by some as a classroom).
Earlier this year, students worked in small groups to share their ideas about what in ‘history’ they would like to learn. Their ideas were shared via a ‘technological gallery walk’, something that students truly love to do thanks to the interactive component involved in such an activity. Their enthusiasm for such an activity based on choice and sharing led me to do the following. I asked my grade 8s to think about what being given ‘choice’ in learning means to them. Posing the question was simply a launching pad to get my students reflecting on their strengths and interests. However, one student opted to take on the challenge of writing a simple reflection that he permitted me to post his reflections on my blog. (note: he is reflecting on his current independent study in history)
Matthew: Gr 8 Student
I think that the ability to give students a choice by in a project is marvelous. It allows you to learn about a subject that you personally are interested in and still follow the curriculum. I really enjoy using a website as my presentation format because it can be accessed from anywhere.
I for one, am researching the crusades. Others are doing World War 2 or World War 1. The range of studies that we are doing shows preferences and interests. I tend to like schoolwork but I can imagine this helping people who don’t have the same views as me. There is also slightly more interest in the research when all the ideas came from you and not a limited list of options. There are my views on the intellectual curiosity hour project.
What strikes me in his post is the notion of greater interest in learning when it stems from student interest and not, as Matthew describes a ‘limited list of options’.
So, with his post in mind, what are you doing to open a child’s curiosity to learn that stems from their interests and not your own?
Yours in learning,
The Enthusiastic Learner