Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Several things have converged for me today that all have come as a result of involving myself in my own personal professional development i.e. reading blogs and writing my own.

Here's what came together:
1. Reading Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" - sorry...can't remember who first wrote about it but because several bloggers were writing about it I started to pay attention. Glad I did!
2. A Difference: Darren Kuropatwa wrote today about a video online where Sir Kenneth Robinson spoke about creativity. Watched the video this morning while getting organized for the day.
3. Revised Bloom's Taxonomy: this one has been swimming around in my head for a while now and I've been reading "A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing" in which the author's discuss the revised taxonomy. This topic was also brought up on a few different blogs.

So with all this reading in mind, a conversation came up regarding what the product would be in a first grade classroom as a result of a "research" project relating to their study of animals. The teacher told me what the students would be doing with all the information she was going to help students work with. I said, "So...factual recall?" And from that simple comment came a greatly expanded conversation about what it meant to "research", why we are compelled to look for information and the possibilities for using that information in ways that allow children to demonstrate knowledge in more creative ways. So, we went from creating a flip book (that would basically allow students to merely write facts they had learned) to asking students to design a zoo in which the animals they had learned about could live and thrive.

We need to have more of these kinds of conversations with each other about creativity. Our usual teacher "script" leads us to think that if kids can tell us what we taught then we've been successful. If that's all we want from our students, they will never be able to achieve what they're truly capable of.

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