29 December 2008

Education Guiding Principles: Curiosity

Learning is active - right?

....that would translate into I'm going to have to want/do/know "something" in order for my "education" to occur.

For example, how did I learn about the raging new social network games: Pet Society and Kidnap!?

I logged in and accepted the invite from a friend and began playing them, one game at a time. Sure, I'm pretty slow at picking them up but I'm making progress day by day and discovering the features of the games.

My "education" of social networking games expands ....not in a class or formal setting ..... instead it happens as I bang around around on my computer - driven by my own curiosity.

I'm not a big gift buyer during the holidays, but I enjoy going to the store and exploring the toys and games. How? I pick them up and read the boxes and talk it over with myself (quietly) or with my shopping buddy. Again, my own curiosity is the driving force that creates this opportunity for my "education" on holiday gifts.

In traditional schools, a classroom with out some activity that will fire up student curiosity has a degrading potential for learning. And, this is one of those teacher qualities - the ability to peak and maintain student curiosity - they don't teach you in pre-service programs that churn out thousands of new teachers a year.

One bright spot in school "education" where curiosity is harnessed by design is Sudbury Schools, http://www.sudval.org, where students learn at their own pace, imbibe responsibility and experience education. When you take a few minutes to read about how they have setup "education" you'll be amazed and surprised.


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