In a workshop, an educator shared their reluctance to try some of the things that I was suggesting with students in their classroom. Luckily, I had students joining me in the workshop and asked them for some feedback. I shared a video of a student making a “Mitosis in 60 Seconds” video where they had to explain Mitosis but in a 60 second time constraint.
I asked the students, could you figure out how to make this video without the guidance of your teacher?
Their answer was “yes,” but their expression was more like “Duh!”
I expressed the following, and it was shared in a tweet by one of the participants:
— Jenni Dast Thunberg (@jennithunberg) October 10, 2018
Never limit a student by what you don’t know.
School should be a place about their learning not only what you can teach.
This doesn’t mean that content knowledge isn’t essential, but the hope of each generation should be that the next generation is wiser than the previous. If we limit our students to our knowledge and only what we deem necessary to learn, we will stagnate their growth as well as that of society.
It is not only okay for students to explore and figure out ideas on their own in class, but it is also necessary. There is power in being able to make the statement to a group of learners, “I am not sure how to do that, but I know you can figure it out.”
Empowerment is about developing learners to NOT need you. For that to happen, they will have to be able to create their solutions and pathways in their formal education, so we can ensure that they can do it after their time in school.