The Passionate Learner: Part Three


The Climate for Learning

A follow-up to Passionate Learning Part 1 and Part 2

Stained Glass

Dr. Robert L. Fried is a leading American educator and teacher of teachers. He is an advocate for passionate learning and passionate teaching. Rob spent the day working with PDS faculty last week. In Rob’s view the climate for learning is changing here in America and all over the world. Some of the factors he sees are that today’s students need:

More engagement but less instruction

More ways to access info, but less rote learning

More opportunities to perform, but fewer tests

More multi-sensory learning, but less paper-and-pencil work

More self-assessment, but less grading

More collaboration with peers, but less competition

As a result this means that schools and teachers must

Change strategies, but not our beliefs or values

Create partnerships with–and among–our students

Expect higher quality, in exchange for more freedom

Rob Fried believes that too many schools tend to be stuck in the age of the factory model, but ours is a world of entrepreneurs. His conclusion and solution is that is we as teachers need to view ourselves as Curriculum Artists, rather than Deliverers of Instruction

Artists create, they don’t just transmit

We are preparing our students to be successful “Knowledge Workers” in an ever-changing world. They have to be Knowledge Workers not ‘day laborers’.

They must take initiative, not just follow orders,

They must solve problems, not just crank out the work

We teachers are the Architects of the curriculum; our students are the Contractors

As Architects, we teachers need to:

Develop the plan

Create the blueprint

Anticipate the obstacles

Guide them to the outcomes

Assess their performance

As Contractors, our students need to:

See the whole plan (not just today’s lesson)

Work backwards from the final product

Know that what they’re building is worth the effort

Lay a good foundation for future learning of value

Writers Workshop in the 3/4 class

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