In his essay “Why School,” Will Richardson states that we should be “preparing students to be learners who can successfully wield the abundance at their fingertips.” As teachers, it is our job to teach students how to be successful outside of the four walls of a classroom. We need to focus less on what students will know, and more on what students will DO with what they know. Information is literally everywhere - if you’ve got fingertips, you’ve got access.
As teachers, we need to be teaching students how to think for themselves, find answers on their own to question they are forming, and share what they have found in meaningful ways. Instead of having students suck in a vast array of knowledge with which they must later regurgitate in order to pass a test, we must teach them how to THINK.
With technology literally being a center in the lives of most, it should be included within a classroom. How to use technology, how to find sources that are reliable, how to communicate in healthy and positive ways - we live in the technological era, everything we do seems to connect to technology in some way, so we must educate based on this trend.
I believe that I would not have trouble using any of the six unlearning/relearning ideas:
SHARE EVERYTHING (or at least something) - I think that it is extremely important to collaborate. We are teaching our students to collaborate, so why shouldn’t we? One of the highlights of my week (professional development-wise) is going to my PLC meetings. I am stoked to hear what my fellow colleagues are doing in their classrooms. It helps me figure out where I can go next, build, and... I love the idea of sharing - of course each individual will put his/her own spin on things that will make that his/hers.
DISCOVER! - I believe discovery is a great way to get students interested! If we allow students to have a say in what they are learning, they will be more interested in actually getting it done. Let the students ask the questions to be answered, let them discover their own answers.
TALK TO STRANGERS - Strangers are everywhere... the people who write the books we read are strangers!! Teaching our students to interact with media strangers in a healthy way is great... ideas are out there!
BE A MASTER LEARNER - “The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.” There is literally information everywhere. Knowing how to access it, and what information is reliable, is important. Teaching our students how to access and test for reliability is even more important. We must be models for our students.
REAL WORK - Have students do something meaningful! No one really, honestly cares about how many historical dates you have memorized. People care about what you do with that knowledge - if you’re great at history, show it! Write a book for all to see, create historical cartoons that can be understood by the masses... be creative!
TRANSFER THE POWER - Be a guide, not a know it all. Give them the skills they will need in the future to solve problems. Teach how to do something instead of teaching something.