I saw a link for an interesting video on “accelerating learning” for students and was intrigued simply by the title. As I was listening to the content, the conversation was a lot of “we” (as in educators) figuring out what “they” (as in students) need. A lot of deciding for them and “fixing” their deficits, and trying to figure out why they are “weak” in a specific target area.
I couldn’t watch it. The intent was extremely positive, but I felt that it started with the wrong point.
I know they are kids, and kids need adult guidance, but I just struggle with any person, at any age, flourishing in an environment of being “fixed”, especially when the students aren’t necessarily in on the conversation.
Michael Fullan, researcher and former dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, made the statement, “Learning is the driver; technology is the accelerator.”
In my book, “The Innovator’s Mindset“, I created an iteration of the phrase:
Learners are the driver; technology is the accelerator.
It is subtle shift, yet significant.
When we talk about our “smartest” kids, do we talk about our students who do the best academically? If we focus on the “learner”, we realise is that some of our “smartest” students are not the best at school. If you are an educator and you are reading this, you might not have done well academically but you could be an amazing teacher. Grades are not an indicator of intelligence; they are an indicator of ability in certain areas, that someone else deems important.
Look for the strengths in your students, no matter their abilities in school. When people, of all ages, feel valued, they are more likely to move forward.