After reading George Couros’s blog On the “Real World”, which includes an amazing excerpt from an Alice Keeler post from 2015, I felt inspired. Alice sheds a new light on the ‘real world’ argument often given to or by teachers. George says that “you can use the ‘real world’ as an argument, but not an excuse.” I am going to go one step further here, and say we should use the Real Ideal World as the agent for change.
I am a teacher because I want our students to create a better world, what better way to create a better world than to teach them for that better world. I hope to do this activity with our faculty someday soon, but I’m going to try it here. The two questions I will ask myself – What world do you want your students to live in? How will you teach to prepare them for that world?
What world do I want my students to live in?
I want my students to live in a world where they…
- know their passions and pursue them
- have a job that helps others
- recognize the connections between their work and its impact on the world
- are connected to their community and the world
- are kind to those around them
- know how to find information and view it critically
- work with their hands
- care about the environment and are stewards of the earth
- use technology meaningfully
- make time for art – singing, dance, painting, sculpture
- are active citizens – especially in local communities and government
- to take responsibility for their mistakes and then improve from them
How will I teach to prepare students for this ideal world?
- teach them to read critically and for fun; give students choice in their reading and challenge them to question it, to dig deeper into its meaning
- give them time to create something everyday with their hands
- connect our learning to the local community – the good and the bad
- provide time for students to pursue their passions
- encourage and reward kindness every day
- allow students to explore technology, to practice using social media
- learn how our community is connected to the world afar
- apply math to everyday life; to find and recognize patterns around them
- give open-ended learning opportunities that allow students to make mistakes and learn from them
My biggest challenge was keeping these lists as short as they are now. If I used these lists, what would my teaching look like tomorrow (Literally, tomorrow)? I wonder what would happen if a school asked the same questions, developed a shared set of goals and focused their teaching on these outcomes. How would our teaching change? How would learning change? How would our world change?