Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Week 3 Reading (EDM613)
What I have appreciated most about The Art of Possibility is that it is written by educators and they give an overview perspective as opposed to a content one. In "It's All Invented," I wonder if the example given is where "think outside the box" comes from? My thought is that if we think outside the box, what does that say about our head?
"Stepping into a Universe of Possibility" started the question of measurement and really set me up for the next chapter, "Giving an A." I really wrestled with the idea of measurement in the classroom and how I view my grades for students. Are my grading scale and the standards I hold my students to invented? It was only when he gave the approach he has in the classroom about giving an A and then having students write in past tense on how they earned it that I saw the power of this approach. Stephen Covey, in 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, has readers "Begin with the End in Mind" in the same way. Through this approach in the classroom, students will work in the class to evoke change and learning in themselves for their own sake and not just for the grade. It may be the best way to bring about true development in our students.
I love the attitude brought about by "Being a Contribution." As a teacher and for my students, it can only lead to positive things in the classroom. I have asked my students at the end of the year what they think they have contributed to the class but I think it makes much more sense to have them think about it from the very beginning. They need to know that they can be a contribution and look for ways to do so. This attitude seems to connect with "Leading from Any Chair" in this way. This also supports the benefits of students teaching a lesson or topic to their classmates. I had done this in the past but had gotten away from it recently. It is time to bring it back to my curriculum in some form.
"Rule Number 6" is an important one to keep in mind as I work with students daily. It helps me work in collaboration with the students as opposed to "me say, you learn." They all have something important to offer and ignoring Rule Number 6 may keep me from looking for what it is they have for everyone.