How, then, do we transform today’s classrooms;

From the traditional status quo to places of energy, curiosity, imagination, and deep learning?  A recent video by the inventor of the Rubik’s cube, Erno Rubik, sheds light on the dilemma when he asks, “How do we get teachers to stop teaching answers but instead to help students generate questions that are waiting for answers?” There is no one recipe for creating classrooms that provoke deep learning, but as we look across the early innovators we see a few common characteristics. In schools on the pathway to deepening learning, we see the following:

  • Students asking the questions. They have skills and language to pursue inquiry and are not passively taking in the answers from teachers.
  • Questions valued above answers. The process of learning, discovering, and conveying is as important as the end result.
  • Varied models for learning. Selection of approaches is matched to student needs and interests. Students are supported to reach for the next challenge.
  • Explicit connections to real-world application. Learning designs are not left to chance but scaffolded and built on relevance and meaning.
  • Collaboration. Students possess skills to collaborate within the classroom and beyond.
  • Assessment of learning that is embedded, transparent, and authentic. Students define personal goals, monitor progress toward success criteria, and engage in feedback with peers and others.

Fullan, Michael; Quinn, Joanne. Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems (Page 97). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.


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