Essential Question: What strategies do you use that are related to your “moral purpose”? How do these contribute to your overall leadership?
In my constructionist, learner centered classroom you can see my moral purpose through various themes such as maker movement, game-based learning, project/problems based learning projects, etc. I also use a variety of strategies to support my moral purpose such as: instilling a growth mindset, coaching/facilitating learning, modeling & fostering curiosity and imagination. Authors Martinez & Stager, reminds educators that “one of the responsibilities of being a teacher is to translate the mandates of the educational system to something that helps children understand their world” (2013). My moral aspect is not limited to walls of the classroom.
21st Century learning requires students to think for themselves. They need to take control over their learning. Students need to be the center of their education experience to prepare themselves for their future. In today’s digital age the teacher is no longer the keeper of knowledge. Their role has shifted to the encourager and facilitator of learning. Likewise the role of the student has also changed. Traditional passive learning has been replaced by active learners making informed decisions and thinking for themselves.
In my classroom learning is fueled by curiosity. Amanda Lang, author of the book “The Power of Why” states, “Curious kids learn how to learn, and how to enjoy it – and that, more than any specific body of knowledge, is what they will need to have in the future” (Wright 2013). Educational activist Alfie Kohn notes “great teaching isn’t just about content but motivation and empowerment: Real learning gives you the mental habits, practice, and confidence to know that, in a crisis, you can count on yourself to learn something new.” (Davidison 2012)
I don’t want my students to leave my classroom just being good at “school” or being good at jumping through hoops. My classroom environment must engage learning. I foster creativity and curiosity. They learn how to fail and succeed. They learn how to collaborated and communicate in this global world. These strategies and overarching themes supports my moral purpose as an educator.
Mentor Project –
I am loving my mentor project but it is challenging. My mentor and I laid out a schedule but we ran into a schedule conflict on the 15th so we tried to double up and simplify a lesson and we ran into some issues. As a result students had some difficulty using the coordinate system in the Klondike World. My mentee said that she will go back and present a little lesson on how the coordinates work in Minecraft. The students are enjoying their time in Minecraft. They are really having difficulty understanding team work, which is kind of surprising. I guess the big overall issue is time.
As part of my mentor project I created a website www.MinecraftIntheClassroom.com I created the website for my mentee and others who might want to learn more about Minecraft in the classroom. On my site I have link to guides & lessons, my gamer quiz and ideas about how I have used MinecraftEdu in my class.
This week I presented about using Minecraft in the classroom at the State Math and Science Conference. It was standing room only. I was blessed to have Chris Bryner’s help during the presentation – thank you Chris. I created a Sway presentation on the overview of MinecraftEdu and game-based learning. My mentee attended as well.
Davidson, Cathy. "Why Flip The Classroom When We Can Make It Do Cartwheels?" Co.Exist. N.p., 09 May 2012. <http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679807/why-flip-the-classroom-when-we-can-make-it-do-cartwheels>.
Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
Park, Hyu-Yong. "Tensions between Teacher's and Students' Discourses in the Classroom." The Journal of Classroom Interaction 43.1 (2008): n. page. Eric.Ed.Gov. <http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ829005.pdf>.
Wright, Shelly. "Academic Teaching Doesn’t Prepare Students for Life." Powerful Learning Practice. N.p., 07 Nov. 2013. Web. <http://plpnetwork.com/2013/11/07/obsession-academic-teaching-preparing-kids-life/>.