The first two articles I read were How teachers can best use TED Talks in class, from the perspective of the students by Olivia Cucinotta and School vs. Learning by George Couros. The important note I learned from these two informational readings was school is all about ideas. School is about the learners instead of learning stuff. Stuff that most of us with forget in the next year after learning it. For me that was History and it wasn’t in a year that I forgot all of the information it was after the last test I took for the class. If I had TED Talk back when I was taking my History class it would’ve probably helped instead of reading from a 800 page textbook.
TED Talks can help teachers bring ideas into conversation and debate. When I was in high school I remember only a few students really getting involved into debates. I don’t know what was wrong with the rest of us. Maybe it was fear like the previous blog I posted about being successful. Fear could’ve been clouding our minds that we might have said the wrong thing or that our opinions were dumb. Ms. Fogarty said, “TED Talks make us pause and listen to the percolation of ideas – art, engineering, technology, the humanities, spoken word and more.” We as teachers can use TED Talks to spark conversations about our diverse values, questions we may have, and sometimes conflict that our opinions may not be the same as another students. TED Talk get students thinking and that’s what we want in our classrooms. We don’t want one word answers. Where’s the thinking in that?
Learning is about creating. Is it not? Learning is about exploring our passions and interests. It can happen anytime and is personal to us. All around us learning promotes that everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. School is a place where learning happens but it’s not the only place for expanding our creativity and knowledge. This is important for us teachers to understand. Don’t just teach our standards to our students. Actually find their interests and passions.
The two articles that I’ve chosen are 25 Ways To Promote Passion – Based Learning In Your Classroom by Saga Briggs and Why Is Project – Based Learning Important? by George Lucas Educational Foundation
An important point made by Sage Briggs was that, “Students are more likely to learn if they are motivated by and engaged with the curriculum or project at hand.” I will list the 25 ways quoted by Sage Briggs:
- Share your own passions with your students.
- Indulge in your own passions when you are outside of the classroom.
- Let students share their passions.
- Introduce students to resources that help them exercise their passions.
- Help students find others who share the same passion.
- Connect students’ passions to real-world scenarios.
- Divorce practicality from the picture.
- Trust that hard work follows naturally from passion.
- Value all passions equally.
- Let students take control.
- Learn how to recognize passion in momentary obsessions.
- Get to know a student’s passions through his parents and friends.
- Surround your students with passionate people.
- Allow for students’ passions to develop and change.
- Help connect students to a new subject through an existing passion.
- Show students how learning about seemingly unrelated topics can help them learn more about their passion.
- Set aside time to let passions flourish.
- Help students create something with their passions.
- Weave standards into passion-based learning.
- Become comfortable with the word “passion”.
- Let yourself be inspired by other impassioned educators.
- Understand what passion means for students of different age levels.
- Understand what passion means for students with different backgrounds.
- Understand where passions come from.
- Connect passions with intelligence, not talent.
These 25 ways listed above can help teachers promote passion-based learning in their classrooms and to help our students pursue their own passions.
Today’s world requires students to have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and math) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesizing, utilizing high tech tools). All of these skills listed above is how students become directors of their learning process that is guided by skilled teachers. Quoted from the article the 21st century skills include:
- personal and social responsibility
- planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
- strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs
- cross-cultural understanding
- visualizing and decision making
- knowing how and when to use technology and choosing the most appropriate tool for the task.
Passion – based learning brings real-life context and technology to students. Allowing them to become independent workers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.