TRANSFER OF POWER III - CHOICE
Lesson created by Izabella Gorczyca using
Video from No Bell Schools YouTube Channel
The art of choice is one of the hardest skills to develop. There are no simple and obvious choices, as we all learn in our lives. Paradoxically, at school we often try to make pupils believe that there is just one correct way to achieve our target or solve the given problem. Can we change this approach?
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Is the real world well-ordered and structured? Does it leave no space for chaos? In order to act creatively and effectively – rather than following well-established routes – we should go off the beaten track and choose our own path to work, life and happiness. By opening up a space of freedom for our pupils, we prepare them for challenges that lie ahead of them, outside and beyond the school world. Already Maria Montessori and Janusz Korczak claimed that the teacher ought to follow the children rather than arbitrarily make choices for them. The diversity of educational materials suited to the given child’s needs, interests and possibilities; teaching the same content in a multitude of different ways; learning the art of narration – these are the key elements of a modern teacher’s workshop. Each of us teaches differently. Sometimes even the slightest change in our environment, in the forms of communication – can decide about educational success.
We adults would probably not be happy to read the same book every day all year round. Why, then, do we force children to learn from a course book? We can all start with by replacing a chapter from the course book with our own innovative concepts and solutions. We can create our own compendium of knowledge, show courage in following our own reading, references, ways of thinking and acting. We can create our own challenging tasks, work sheets and project sheets. Liberation from the limits imposed by a course book not only benefits the pupils – who receive personalised materials – but is also beneficial to teachers. Creating our own educational materials is a refreshing experience which prepares us to open up a space of learning adventure for our students. It can also be a prelude to true freedom. By giving up the authority of the course book, we offer ourselves a chance to design the course from scratch together with our pupils, in harmony with a new vision of education.