Week 2 Reading
The first four chapters of the Art of Possibility are truly inspiring. It really got me thinking about how I see my students and the expectations I place on them. I was particularly inspired by the authors' idea of celebrating and valuing mistakes. "...I actively train my students that when they make a mistake, they are to lift their arms in the air, smile, and say, "How fascinating!"" So often our students feel that if they do not have the right answers they will be punished or get a bad grade. I would like to work on this in my classroom and foster a more open environment where students feel comfortable enough to make mistakes and learn something from them.
I was also interested in the concept of 'giving an A' and enjoyed reading the letters from Ben Zander's students. It was inspiring to hear a student's opinion on what an A would look like for them at the end of the semester. So often we tell students what the final outcome of a course should be, without giving them the opportunity to take ownership of their learning along the way.
The only concern I have about what I have read so far is that it all seems very idealistic. I imagine that it is harder to apply these principles consistently.
Posted by Jennifer Juniper at 3:48 PM
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Tonneche Brown said...
You are so right. Many student see mistakes as failure. Training the students to embrace their mistakes and learn or create from them will truly open up to a awesome learning environment. I also enjoyed the letters.
April 10, 2011 6:08 PM
Just this week, I listened to a lecture by Tony Wagner, and failure was one of the various topics he discussed. Doesn't it seem odd that in the business world, in companies such as Google, you are encouraged to try new things and fail often with the idea that in doing so, you will create something new. Now compare this with what happens in schools where making 2 mistakes on a test can give you a B. The educational system and our grading for students is completely contradictory to how innovative business is run. With esteemed speakers such as Zander and Wagner along with others speaking about failure, why do we still grade students the way we do?
April 10, 2011 8:09 PM