I arrived at class the other day and I had four students waiting for me. The other 4 students (there are only 8 in the class) were out in the community doing their thing – paid work, pre-apprenticeship course, shifting house and an internship.
One of the students piped up and said, “So, what are we doing today?”
I was disappointed. The students are being encouraged and taught to take ownership of their own learning and to show initiative.
I read in a blog post today: “It’s so sad that so many students sit and wait to be taught.”
It’s no wonder then that my students have not ‘fully’ unlearnt the attitude instilled in them for around 10 years…wait until you are told what to do!!
But there is hope as all it took for me to say was…”What do you want to do?” And they all had something to DO.
Brad: I want to go and buy a book to list all the jobs I am doing for the ICT work at Cutting Edge (his LTI – Learning Through Internship).
Ben: We need to visit Computer Tech Support and see if they will have me for an Internship).
Haydn: I need to do the paperwork required to set up my internship doing concreting.
Sean: I want to explore the possibilities of setting up a student exchange so Big Picture students can come and spend a week with us so we can learn from them.
I was pleased that this attitude to learning is being developed and just under the surface, waiting for a crack to let the light in.
My students are thinking about things to do and starting to take ownership and show initiative.
The Big Picture approach of students following their interests, working in the community and a teacher/advisor to guide them in their learning does work: It is one student at a time in a community of learners.