So for students who don’t somehow learn to improve their thinking, these are opportunities for failure, and going to school becomes little more than a series of frustrating experiences. He supports this claim with a set of nine research-based principles:
A little backstory: I recently led a workshop for adults on creativity. The primary message of that workshop was identical to what I tell my students: if you want to be more creative, you need to practice using your mind in non-routine ways. If you want to come up with new ideas, you need to abandon all your existing ideas and seek new ones. You need to play, basically, and give your brain an opportunity to make connections it’s unlikely to make during the routine work of the day. This post will give you some ideas on how to do that (if you need them).
So here’s an idea: In my vast research into creative processes, I’ve read again and again about the importance of rest, of time to not work--time for the mind to “lie fallow,” as Bertrand Russell put it. Here’s the full context of that quote (for the record, Bertrand Russell is the best):
The other day I realized that I've thrown out my classroom playbook almost completely. The basic elements are all still there: cameras, computers, making videos, watching videos, talking about videos. But for the first time in a very long time I'm open to changing things drastically. I'm skipping things. Throwing out formerly important parts of my class in favor of others. My curriculum hasn't changed; I'm trying to listen and respond to what David Bohm called "the artist's necessity." It's not actually unique to artists, but it's an approach to understanding necessity as a concept. It means that necessity is emergent, rather than fixed.
Put in simplest form, my position on conventional grading is that it is imprecise, unreliable, and counterproductive to the atmosphere of teaching and learning. Indeed, there is plenty of good research and theory to back up this position.* Thus, I have decided to pursue alternatives. In this post, I will describe this year’s experiment and how it connects to my larger vision of teaching and learning in my classroom.
This week's pick is the video for Kurt Vile's "Pretty Pimpin," which technically came out last week, but because I spent this entire week watching the video over and over, it gets a spot as the pick of the week. There are so many things to love about this video: the song; the camera moves; the gradual ramping-up of complexity. Plus, what's not to love about a video that has shots like this one:
Charlie Huette is a public school teacher who also keeps a notebook. He dreams about making school just a little less terrible. Many of the posts you find here are based on notebook entries. You can learn more about Charlie by visiting the about page.