Comments 4

  1. Dave,
    Some good thoughts and questions. Have your students read your essay. They might have some ideas of ways to create a classroom like the one you are hoping for. Dream and act.

    1. Thanks for that thought, Pam! You’re right–I have some pretty creative students here too…and they might be just the ones to affect this kind of change in the schools where they land. I hope they will serve as leaders and dreamers in their schools too!


  2. “You have to make inventors, innovators — not conformists.”

    Excellent quote from Piaget and what a great DDD story to introduce your point. I always have at least one conversation with my students that intelligence is measured in MANY ways—a GPA is just one of those ways. Creative intelligence is another but our current system of measuring/rewarding/acknowledging intelligence doesn’t always see it. This brings a sigh of relief to many students, then a wistful reflection that they’re still “trapped” in a system that doesn’t always see their intelligence.

    Thanks for advocating for a new way of seeing and rewarding intelligence. I agree with you that it’s high time this happens.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Mark. I am increasingly concerned by the compliance-culture I see in schools today. And while I would never argue that we don’t want students to get along well and play nice with others, designing a school culture to promote compliance seems to fly in the face of what I believe would foster students to think and act in creative ways. Certainly we want rigorous learning; of course we do. But rigor can still manifest in a creative environment! If we are serious about students flourishing, we need to keep thinking about the culture of the place they are learning.

      I wonder sometimes whether teachers have a particular metaphor that drives their teaching. (John Van Dyk and Harro Van Brummelen have both written about this, and I should note their influence on my thinking.) Some teachers view themselves as “gardeners,” others “drill sergeants,” still others “ring masters,” with some others identifying as “artists” or “architects” or “programmers,” etc. I think that the metaphor we would use to describe our approach to teaching matters greatly for the way our classroom climate develops. For the educators out there who might be reading along…what’s your metaphor?

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