If learning were a house, it’d be a big, colorful house. Lots of tiny windows, representing curiosity and observation. It’d be covered in big shiny roof tiles, protecting the ideas inside. It’d have a chimney with smoke puffing out to represent thinking and inquiry. The walls would be covered with colorful photos, representing personal experiences that we walk through each time we move on the journey to learn. The stairs inside would be crooked and curvy, because learning is not linear. It would be wallpapered with historical content and inventions that changed the world. There’d be a fancy Rube Goldberg style contraption to make breakfast each day, because Physics makes you hungry. Flowerboxes overflowing with a variety of species, with a variety of needs, sprouting all over the porch, the windows, and the yard. Each flower adding a uniqueness to the bigger picture. There’d be writing nooks, an art studio, and lots of doors with fancy skeleton keys to unlock new places.
It’d be a house you’d never want to leave.
If learning were a house, teacher PD would have to change. We’d have to stop focusing on painting a shutter or fixing a crooked picture frame. Because when we’re so busy trying to slap on a bit of paint and fix up something we see, we’re missing the bigger picture.
The true meaning of inquiry. Rigor. Relevance. Reflection. Learning design. Transformative learning with technology. Personalization. The very definitions that provide the stability for the house. The concrete for all else to be built upon.
So our very first step is agreeing on what goes into concrete and what it all means. Our students are ready to build. Tools and devices in hand, wanting to design, problem solve, and create. We just need to provide the support and then step aside.
Because when they open the door and invite us into their learning? It’s a magical experience beyond theory, so much more than a PD PowerPoint, and far bigger than words on a worksheet. It’s a unique place, all theirs, where they build on each other’s thoughts, self-reflect, and make meaning of the world.
And we are just lucky enough to be a part of that foundation.
Post inspired by couch. Because inspiration is everywhere… when you keep your eyes open. Photo Credit INSPARCOES: http://www.flickr.com/photos/omundodedalia/4456407451/in/photostream