I really enjoyed reading George Couros‘s blog post, School vs. Learning. So much so that I decided to read another article by him on passion-based learning called 3 Questions to Drive Passion Based Learning. The three questions that Couros covers in this post are:
- What will I learn?
- What will I solve?
- What will I create?
In regards to What will I learn?, Couros states that presenter Josh Kaufman (“The First 20 Hours to Learn Anything”) says that you can learn to do basically anything in 20 hours. Think about all the possible things students could learn to do in a semester or even a year. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Secondly is What will I solve?. On this point, Couros states that kids today are assigned with the task of being problem-solvers instead of problem-finders. I agree…instead of everyone being given the same problem to solve, why not give each student the opportunity to go out and find a different problem that needs to be solved.
What will I create? is the last point Couros talks about. Instead of teaching them stuff, we should be giving them the opportunity to learn by creating. Many people learn by doing, and this is no different. Giving kids the opportunity to create in the learning process, I believe, will be much more beneficial for them not only in the present, but in the future as well.
The second article I read was “25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom” by Saga Briggs. I thought they were all pretty good ideas, but there were a few that stuck out to me.
The first idea I really liked was Introduce students to resources to help them exercise their passions. How many times do people’s ideas and dreams get crushed simply because they don’t have the resources to help them further learn and explore? I’d say probably more than we’d like to admit. This step helps to remove that roadblock and enable students to explore their passions without that easily removed obstacle.
The second idea that I thought was great was Divorce practicality from the picture. I think we as adults, in general, shoot down kids’ hopes and dreams just because, to us, they don’t seem practical. That’s something that we really need to stop…now. We need to let their passions develop and we shouldn’t be the ones to tell them that they need to be more realistic (within reason). Obviously if your student’s passion is to become a unicorn, that would be a good time for a change in direction.
Lastly, I thought that Set aside time to let passions flourish was a great idea. I think a lot of times we get too caught up with keeping on task with assignments and “core” classes. As a teaching community, we need to make time to let kids explore their passions instead of putting them by the wayside. This is something that we need to change.
In a nutshell, passions are who we become as adults. Too often they get ignored and replaced by what kids “should” be learning. But isn’t it important for them to learn about things that they are truly interested in? My answer would be yes.