Monday, September 5, 2016

Experts At Learning!

I could never let go of the learning bond that the students and I experienced this past year. Now it is time to get excited to dive into another year of learning with a new group of learning partners.

This post was started in July and it has given me the chance to reflect on why students should always be considered as the experts in the classroom. I have just cleared up my camera roll, over 3000 pictures from last year. It is time to build on from last years experiences and connect with new relationships for valuing thinking experiences.  

The classroom and the school are all about the students! We, educators need to always give students the chance to be experts by allowing them to be critical about their learning and consider changes in their community locally and globally. The importance is for students to lead their own critical change and voice their opinions from collecting data, interviewing and letter writing to ministers or voicing their concerns to the school, local and global communities.

As educators we sometimes  focus  on what is to be done, let us focus on what is to be learned. The complexity and the risk taking during the learning process and taking the time to explore. Giving students time for learning how to learn. What is how to learn?

Is to think about:

  • How do students gain self-leadership more than just acquiring knowledge and applying it?
  • How to allow the students to build a character of compassion from and with their classmates and the world around them?
  • How to reflect and accept a partnership of trust from the classroom community in order for the students to flourish with the richness of self-leadership?
  • How valuing learning is possible to apply all skills? Collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity citizenship and character the 6C's from New Pedagogies for Deep Learning.

How did this process evolve last year? It evolved through Integrative Thinking from the Rotman I-Think Initiative. Through the Integrative Thinking process, students had experiences with thinking tools that enriched students leadership of valuing thinking with each other as a community. It has given the students the love and the purpose of why we learn and how we learn. The students became self-directed thinkers and risk takers of cross-disciplinary concepts that are relevant to their daily experiences while valuing all perspectives as a learning community.

The design thinking process is driven by the Integrative Thinking.  The process of ideation and iteration with a purpose of problem-solving to design and include students' original ideas that are unique to them and their community.

The key to any process is reflecting! If the students are not given the time to reflect and be able to think about the how and the why of the thinking  then learning is prescribed.  The students need to lead and modify from the foundation of basic skills to become self-directed learners.
Reflecting on failures, ideating, iteration, sharing, valuing their colleagues thinking and building on each other's learning, determining their learning goals, their learning processes and their products for making.

The students will start with the foundation of building basic skills, what is important is allowing them to become self-directed learners towards coaching and mentoring each other. The skills of being compassionate and empathetic when learning, is based on learning from the present and for the future. It is about thinking independently, responsibly and productively.

As educators, our students lead our learning, they are our experts ! They guide us to our critical thinking practices.

What love for learning and success of skills that are students acquiring?

I am sharing some videos of the students self-lead community initiatives.

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