In a beautifully candid and beautifully written piece for PLP Network’s Voices from the Learning Revolution, Canadian teacher Shelly Wright examines how her thinking and her classroom practice have changed.
Here’s a slice:
I used to think that content was the most important thing I could teach. What was I thinking? In a Google world, most of the content I once valued so highly can be accessed in seconds, making the role of content provider obsolete. Now I think skills, like collaboration, critical thinking, and being able to locate rich, reliable information are much more important. So now I use content to teach skills. I’m a skills provider.
I used to think that ranting at students about their lack of engagement and their apathy towards learning might get a positive response. Now I realize that if you’re learning about and working on a project that is worthy of your time and attention, you don’t have to be cajoled. Students will devote everything to worthy work, in ways you can’t even imagine at the outset. Students will often defy our expectations if we give them the opportunity to do so.
It’s challenged me (and I dare you) to think more deeply and honestly about what really matters in our teaching and our own learning.