Saturday, April 28, 2012

Are We Rethinking Teaching? - Some Of Our Students Are

I had the chance to go to a luncheon this week with a couple of students and during the drive to and from the restaurant we talked a bit about education. I am always intrigued to hear the thoughts of our students about how engaged they feel in their classes.  Just to be perfectly clear, I like to ask them about the qualities of learning experiences that they enjoy most or feel most engaged. I encourage administrators, teachers, and parents to do this with students. Ask about the learning experiences that students have found most enjoyable and find out what some of the common qualities.

Anyway, I was so excited to get this e-mail yesterday from one of the students (BHS junior Mark Steinbach):
Just wanted to share a really interesting TEDx video I happened upon. Our discussion on Tuesday about making learning active and less teacher-focused popped into my head as I watched it, so I figured you'll probably find it of interest. It's about a bio teacher in Montana who structures his class like a video game. Really cool stuff. Here's the link if you have the time:
Thanks to Mark for passing along this great example of moving away from a teacher-centered learning environment to one that is learner-centered! The teacher, Paul Anderson, discusses how he modified his methods for grading, delivering instruction, and planning based on the principles of game design.  I hope you'll take the 10-minutes to check it out and share your thoughts and insights into quality learning environments.

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