Our brains naturally prefer big picture learning. Understanding how everything fits together.
This video asks us to think about the way that school structures our learning. Teachers know that students learn best when there is integration of subjects and opportunities to explore areas of interest deeply.
Before I explore a couple of take-aways from this video, I want to offer a bit of caution about romanticizing the “way things used to be”. For instance, the image of a child learning to farm glosses over the fact that in this scenerio learning was limited to the narrow field of occupations held by one’s parents or close relatives.
The Take Aways: Big Picture Personalized Learning
One challenge I hear about time and time again is how to provide big picture learning experiences when the Ontario curriculum is organized into discrete subject areas with a litany of expectations in several “strands” per subject. I’ve worked with many teachers who are able to create incredible learning opportunities for students by pulling together the big ideas across a variety of subject areas. This comes from knowing the curriculum inside out.
In Ontario curriculum revisions going back as far as 2008 have adopted a “Big Picture” approach:
Another challenge is how to harness the interests and passions of all students in the class. Teachers who do this best connect with their students and see their job not as delivering content, but as forming relationships with individuals to nurture them in their learning. When that connection happens and when a teacher shares his or her joy of learning, the relationship becomes akin to that of apprentice and master. The master teacher instinctually differentiates because of that relationship. The teacher is constantly on the look out for ways to meet the learning needs of the students. This happens when the teacher knows the student inside and out.
Anything in the video resonate with you?