If we present learning content as tasks or “to do’s” then we only develop learning followers. A transformational learning culture gives autonomy and purpose to our students for them to master their learning. We need to be developing student learning leaders. We cannot create a culture of passive learners where knowledge is only passed along. Students should not be passengers along for the ride as adults drive the learning. This kind of learning often results in poorly motivated students who do not apply what they know.
Why does it scare us to give the power of learning to the student? If we can create systems in our learning spaces where students are given clear objectives about the content, but the freedom to demonstrate competency, then we will witness the true power of learning. If we give an overly complex sets of directions and guidelines to the learning, we will only experience simple learning results. Unfortunately, we see low order thinking in many learning environments today and then are upset by students’ negative behaviors and overall lack of drive. If we expect high order thinking and give our students the runway to make it happen, we will begin to see learning at a completely different level.
This cannot happen overnight, but the transformation can begin to happen tomorrow morning. It will be messy and is may even be chaotic. Deeper learning does not follow a specific path. However, I can promise an amazing ride from both student and teacher. Let’s buckle our seat belts and provide the opportunity for students to become learning leaders.
I would love to hear your thoughts.