Following up on the previous post, in which I shared the tweets of Bo Adams to our school, it is my great pleasure to share now a link to his full post about his visit, and the video he prepared.
As an aside, I share Bo’s embrace of video communications as essential and powerful; it is my aspiration strongly to work to build up my own skills and practice so that, before too long, I am sharing my own videos in this mode.
Bo’s post at his blog, It’s About Learning,” is entitled “Demos and Tinkerers.” I urge readers to click over and read in its entirety, but here let me quote a few passages.
There is a concerted effort – with much evidence of success – for the student learners to decrease their time in “sit-n-get” and increase their time “doing science.” From my brief exposure to science at St. Gregory, I would say that they are building a tinkering paradise.
two boys were burning leaves with a magnifying glass. In this case, however, the StG students were fogging the space between the leaf pile and the lens. With an iPhone, the boys were recording the light cone whose finest tip was causing the burn of the foliation. As far as I could tell, they had designed this experiment. They ran into all kinds of interesting issues, and I heard them prototype their next attempt with the rest of their classmates.
from years of observation, I sensed that these students were in a routine…developing habits of mind…about hypothesizing, designing tests, and experimenting. They were practicing the scientific method, not just repeating or parroting it. They were being scientists.
Apologies for the boastfulness of this post– it is a bit awkward. But what I am so happy about is that Bo’s observations and appreciations are about some of the very same things which also inspire me about the amazing learning which St. Gregory teachers are everyday facilitating, learning that is about doing, experimenting, prototyping, failing and correcting.
This is a topic I have written about regularly here; two posts particularly pertinent are
- Tinkering, Thinkering, and Making Stuff in High Quality PBL
- Arguing with Willingham: Students Can Be Scientists!