Inspired by these awesome posts:
One of my favorite television shows was Discovery Channel's MythBusters. It presented science in a way that connected to my deepest curiosities, and created unsuspecting role-models for me and my family. Even President Obama recognized the MythBuster team for their impact on making science fun and relevant.
And the best part of the show (other than the explosions) was the fact that you never knew the outcome. It was never predetermined if the myth would be busted or confirmed. They had to do the experiment to find out! And sometimes re-do the experiment again and again because their initial methodology was flawed.
So much of our learning approach is prescriptive - kids see right through it. There is no drama, no tension to see what happens, and no opportunity to learn from mistakes as we figure things out along the way.
Learning from the Mythbusters, what if school class assignments:
-Presented challenges that kids are naturally curious about (or that they themselves chose)?
-Created opportunities for students and teachers to explore and learn together side by side?
-Allowed us to explore challenges that we don't already know the answers to, or the methodology to follow?
-Gave us intentional space to make mistakes, take unscripted paths, and fail magnificently.