Given that I’m persistently arguing for reframing the nature of learning environments (ala the new book, Breathe: A Vision and Framework for Human-Centered Learning Environments), someone recently asked me what I want to see instead of traditional classrooms with desks rows, letter grades, and teacher’s directing and dictating while students have the primary roles of achieving expertise in compliance and conformity.
Here is my quick response…
I envision learning environments where one or more of the following 50+ items make up the bulk of every school day. I see schools where learning is rich, inspiring, meaningful, and transformational; and where the dragons of tests and grades no longer demand fear and submission. I envision a learning environment that is deeply human and humane, one that is responsive to the needs, callings, passions, proclivities, perspectives, and voices of all learners.
All of this is possible, but we must slay the industrial dragons that rule while boldly exploring and embracing the breadth of possibilities offered below (and beyond).
Note: There is plenty of overlap from one concept to the next in this list.
Framing Study as Adventures & Quests
The Individual & Collective Pursuit of the Unknown & That Which has Never Been Accomplished Before
Acts of Service
Meaningful Engagement with Music, Art, Literature, & Performing Arts
Storytelling & Story-Making
Learning in Depth
Self-Directed Learning Plans
Authentic Collaboration, Cooperation, & Teamwork
Positive Psychology Interventions
Random Acts of Kindness
Gamification in Education
Real World Design Thinking Projects
Games & Puzzles
Deliberate Practice Inspired by a Personal Goal or Aspiration
Deeply Meaningful Direct & Indirect Experiences with Mystery & Wonder
Rough and Tumble Play
Fantasy & Imaginative Play