Thursday, March 20, 2008

Creativity and Innovation

I was just listening today to a TED talk today by Sir Ken Robinson. I must of caught a link on twitter. I was pondering the power of creativity in the learning process. It seems that as a teacher I am the enforcer of social norms. I teach a curriculum and expect my students to absorb this knowledge and be able to perform when high stakes testing comes in a month or so. Sir Ken Robinson challenges us to re frame our focus as educators. It is more about the process than on any final outcomes. Learning is about discovering along the way and not the score or diploma at the end of the road.

As an elementary school teacher our language arts units are organized around concepts and themes. I just finished a 6 week cycle looking at imagination. Our selection stories "demonstrated" the use of imagination. In times of standards based education and the use of pacing plans, taking teachable moments and allowing our students to express their imagination is more important then ever.

I am just beginning to read a book I picked up at CUE 2008; Reinventing Project Based Learning. I am not very familiar with the PBL (Project Based Learning) model. It's more than doing arts and crafts or group work. That tends to be what happens after we read a story and I have an extension activity. The book presents the use of Web 2.0 and new ISTE standards as the starting point. I will spend sometime learning more about this model in which my students take a more active role in discovering their own learning. I feel comfortable with the concepts and theory behind these ideas. Nevertheless I am nervous taking this voyage into uncharted seas.

Picture: by Mathew Fang


Janice Stearns said...

I guess the Sir Ken Robinson film is the favorite TED video of all, and for good reason. I use to it frame the conversation about change. The book you mention sounds great! I also like the examples from Edutopia at

From my experience, project based learning takes lots of planning, but the rewards are great. I'm glad you are voyaging into uncharted but exciting waters!

Jose Rodriguez said...

Thanks for the Edutopia link. It's a great starting point in understanding PBL and how it will look in my classroom. I agree that Sir Ken Robinson speaks to a fundamental in our educational system.

Mathew said...

Sounds exciting. I hope we can collaborate in some way. Keep blogging about what you're up to.