I recently attended the Innovative Learning Conference at The Nueva School where I attended sessions on topics ranging from gifted education to the maker movement. I was struck by how certain ideas came up again and again, whether they were theoretical or practical. One idea, offered as professional development advice to teachers, was brought up on separate occassions by Mark Schoeffel (The Nueva School) and Geraldine Mabin (Friendship in Action) and Larry Rosenstock (High Tech High). It is called the "most memorable learning exercise." How it works is individual teachers think of the most memorable learning experiences they had before or during the grade they currently teach. They should then share their learning experiences with each other and find commonalities. Finally, teachers should reflect on ways they can include those shared characteristics into their own teaching practice. As I thought about my experiences in school before and during third grade, three came to mind. I will warn that only the first one makes a mildly interesting story.
My most memorable learning experiences had authentic questions, research, group work, choice, and authentic audiences. These are the elements I want to prioritize in my own teaching.
What are your most memorable learning experiences?
Larry Rosenstock's description of the "most memorable learning exercise" begins at 6:49.
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