I have just read some brilliant blog posts from a remarkable educator:
Prof. Stephen Heppell
This section in particular stood out to me and really helped me to understand my journey this year with my Big Picture PreCAL class….
“What a remarkable century this is already turning out to be for Learning. All around the world teachers, schools, families and even policy makers are waking up to the view that building learning in this new 21st century using the structures and strictures of the previous 20th century is a wild and reckless gamble that all too often fails. But sadly, for so many of them, exploring and testing new ideas within their own context leaves them feeling lonely, brave and rather exposed. Curiously, and rather reassuringly, in isolation many have arrived at very similar conclusions about just what effective 21st century learning strategies and practices might look like. Think what progress they might make together!”
This is how I have often felt this year…lonely, (at times) brave and very exposed. It most likely explains why I have become a voracious reader of many learning and educational blogs and purchased many books of this genre.
- The Element – Ken Robinson
- Doc (The story of Denis Littky and Big Picture) – Susan Kammeraad-Campbell
- The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
- Fires in the Middleschool, Fires in the Middleschool Bathroom – Kathleen Kushman
- The Ethic of Excellence – Ron Berger
- Made by Hand – Mark Frauenfelder
- There are no Shortcuts, Teach like your hair’s on fire, Lighting their fires – Rafe Esquith
- Horace’s Hope and Horace’s Compromise – Theodore R Sizer
- Experience and Education – John Dewey
- Johnny Bunko (The last career guide you will ever need) – Dan Pink
- Rare Trades and Makers Breakers and Fixers – Mark Thomson
- How children learn, Learning all the time and Instead of education – John Holt
- Sparks – Peter Benson
- Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar – James Bach
- Weapons of Mass Instruction and Dumbing us down – John Taylor Gatto
- Mindstorms (Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas) and The Children’s Machine – Seymour Papert
Since I have been teaching on my own this year it was understandable. The readings helped me to realise that I was blazing my own trail with many other educators who are doing the same thing and with the same intentions. It has helped me to not feel alone and to confirm I was on the right track.
All of the above has confirmed for me that the Big Picture model is a proven approach to facilitate learning for all students.