Teach like a student

If expertise is the enemy of innovation, than what might happen if we teach a class outside of our "expertise".

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Last year I taught environmental science for the first time and quickly realized that many environmental issues are taken for granted - maybe because the science is misunderstood - maybe because we've heard it all before - maybe because we don't feel our individual efforts can may a difference. I wanted to reinvent to class using a mode of communication that evoked emotion and sparked action in people. Art + Environment was born. Students worked on an over arching project first semester where they curated an art exhibition that highlights environmental issues. Second semester we studied audio theater and turned shocking/funny/inspiring environmental stories into a podcast, "The Audio Environment".

I do not consider myself an artist, and had neither created an EcoArt sculpture or recorded a podcast before. My inexperience with these modes of communication put me on par with my students. We were a community of learners...genuinely wanting to share our environmental stories. I worked and struggled and learned along side them, but was able to guide with my larger depth of experiences an research.

How might we teach outside of our "home" discipline more often? What would it look like for the art teacher to take over Math class for a day? How would a biology teacher bring a new perspective to history class? What kind of awesomeness could a literature teacher uncover if taught within a technology class?

#beginnersmindset #communityoflearners

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Compelling story well supported with the video. I can't help but question - Why? Why is it that we as adults do not want to step outside our comfort zone? For children, with their beginner mindset, they always want to learn.

Is the belief that academics and university education gives us that once we have the "Paper/Degree" in our hand we do not need to study anymore? Or is it the experience/act of studying constantly for 13-19 yrs at a stretch that makes any graduate not want to study again. Or is it in the students whom the teacher's are teaching - Kids think that - "Now I am an adult and I know more than the Child"?

These all I think are certainly some of the possibilities, why I think most adults do not want to get into a beginner mindset.
So how might we change get teacher/adults into a beginner mindset?
TJ, what you share and ask for change in a mindset is something I believe and agree that we should inculcate in schools. I earlier suggested -

How might we make this fun?
Is it possible to flip the classroom upside down. i.e. Teachers become Students and Students become teachers. This could help in a few ways.
 1. As the concept is for teachers to be students, it is may be ok for them to fail.
2. One can have kids give out rewards for the best project, new ideas, new skills, great presentation etc.
3. Teachers and students can better get to live out each other through the others shoes.
4. Lets not call it practice time - call it Flip the Class time.
5. Sharing - At the end of the silly time - Teachers can share how they intend to incorporate this in the next quarter/month.

To this we could as well art into it. The findings have be presented in a some kind of art - May be this can be on a lottery system. That make it challenging and interesting.

In this process, I was also thinking that may be only some students get to be teachers, and some students get to team up with the new student buddies and collective do the projects.
 
- Just a thought.

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