Please Share My Passion For Education!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

EMPOWER THEM!

Do not be an umbrella to the sun.

We live in a world in which we have an endless amount of problems including pollution, diseases, depression, and the extinction of many species.  We also have an incredible amount of BRILLIANT minds sitting in our classrooms every day doing worksheets, writing down notes about irrelevant information that they are not yet excited to learn, following lab recipes, and disliking it all.  Why?  If the goal if conformity and obedience, I can see why the system is set up this way, but even that isn't working.  I believe that most schools would say that they goal is to TEACH students and prepare them for their futures.

Wake Up!


Kill two birds with one stone.

Try this:

RELEVANCE + AUTONOMY + PURPOSE + AUTHENTIC AUDIENCES + RESULTS 

= (equals)

ENGAGEMENT + PASSION + HIGHER LEVEL LEARNING

Empower these students.  Allow them to reach their potential and prove to you what they are capable of.  Over the course of the past four years I have seen some absolutely incredible learning going on while students are working with community partners (experts & authentic audiences), in the community, in order to make the community a better place.  When students can sense the authenticity and relevance they reach that level of "FLOW" which Csikszentmihalyi has so eloquently written about.  In the end, when students finally understand they are capable of having a positive impact on the community, city, state, nation, world......their eyes open up and a whole new world is revealed.  They matter.  They realize they can change the world, and it is addicting. 

I spent almost every day over the past summer and given up almost every lunch hour and free time I have ever had to help students with projects that they are going above and beyond on, just because they have that desire to learn, innovate, and make a difference.

Give it a try.  You will not be disappointed.




















Oliver Schinkten
Communities at Oshkosh North High School
Twitter:  @schink10
Email:  oliver.schinkten@oshkosh.k12.wi.us

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