Right from the moment the day began there was an opportunity to be creative. Many supplies were available to make ourselves a name tag. Apparently I needed a little bling:
Exploring Big Ideas
Gary Stager kicked off the first session of the Constructing Modern Knowledge Summer Institute with several thought-provoking ideas that set the stage.
Big Idea #1
You can’t coerce people to be creative. All you can do is set the stage by providing a good provocation for them to be able to use their imagination.
During this Institute: form groups and learn from one another, break up your school group, work on your own if you prefer…
Implications for back at school: How, when and over what do we promote and/ or support learner agency? What choices do we encourage them to make? What about teacher professional development – is there teacher agency? a chance to be creative?
Big Idea #2
Gary told the story of a Kindergarten class that was leaving a classroom and a grade 5 class that was entering. When the older students asked the boys what they were working on, they enthusiastically responded that it was hard and it was fun.
During this Institute: we should challenge ourselves but also enjoy the learning process.
Implications for back at school: for the last several years, our curriculum co-ordinator has created a video at the end of the school year in which each student who is moving from our Primary Programme to our Middle School Programme shared their favourite thing from Primary. Every year, the experiences which were most cited were the PYP exhibition and the grade 4 bike trip. Both experiences were challenging and the students were not certain they were going to be successful. But these were achievable challenges that the students ultimately surmounted and were proud of their achievements.
Big Idea #3
In an age where we have easy access to information, what are the skills we need to ensure that we can all survive and thrive?
During this Institute: what can we create to make a difference?
Implications for back at school: Rather than preparing students for the next stage, it is important to remember that they are living their life NOW. No matter what age they are, thinking about others and doing what they can to improve the world will be of benefit.
Big Idea #4
While we might want to ultimately create something of beauty, at some point we need to just start and iterate. Better to get SOMETHING done rather than obsess about planing for perfection.
During this Institute: just do something
Implications for back at school: give kids time to play with ideas and materials. Focus on the learning process rather than the product.