How Do We Change The Way Children Experience Learning?

“My son doesn’t really like school. But he’s also lazy, so I tell him to get over it because not everything in life can be fun. He has to learn to apply himself.”

“How old is your son?”, I asked.

“He’s seven. He’s in grade 2. He says he’s bored but the teacher tells us he isn’t really trying very hard.

How do children experience learning in our schools?

Back in 2014, Alexis Wiggins, daughter of educator Grant Wiggins, decided to find out. She shadowed a grade 10 student for one day, a grade 12 student for another.

Her take-aways – kids SIT passively and are treated like they are a nuisance for most of their day – were powerful reminders of our insensitivity to the lives of the children we teach.

“How do we change the way children experience learning?” is the question asked by Megan Power (@mpoweringEDU) in the Modern Learners podcast.

First, we have to want to change the learning experience.

Our thinking about school is embedded in our emotional attachment to our own childhood. But the world is very different now, and changing fast. Are parents asking questions about possibilities? Do we ask parents how they would change the learning experience for their children if they were given the opportunity? Do we ask the students themselves?

What does success in learning look like?

What if we measured success by how much more children wanted to learn?

How much learning do children want to do when they leave school?

When the Design39 Team began their work, they started with a simple open statement:

Imagine a place where students could _________

If you could build a school from scratch, what would it look like?


OSSEMOOC Blog Hop: If you were to start a school from scratch, what would it look like? (20 bloggers share their ideas)

Alexis Wiggins: A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned (October 2014)

Modern Learners Podcast #56: Megan Power on Creating a New Experience of Learning

Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World (Chapter 4: Deep Learning in Action)

What is School For? TEDx Talk by Seth Godin

Featured image:

unsplash-logoDaiga Ellaby

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