Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How To Learn? From Mistakes

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Educon 2.1 Conference at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. One of the highlights for me was the chance to tour the school and sit in on classrooms to learn some of the pedagogy that makes SLA so unique. One of the classrooms I visited, was Diana Laufenberg's Government Class. Students were sharing their stories from public meetings they had attended and were sharing their learning.

Last month, Laufenberg presented at the TEDxMidAtlantic Conference. In the talk, she shares the story of learning from the perspective of her grandmother, father, herself, and now her students. In her grandmother's world, school was where you had to go to "get the information." She points out that today, that is no longer the case. By asking students questions, allowing them to make mistakes, asking them what they can do with the information, we can offer a richer learning experience. She challenges us to provide experiential learning opportunities, to empower student voice and embrace failure in the learning process. The video is about 10 minutes long, and gives a great message of how schools can change to reflect the information world we live in.

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