Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Modern Learner

"In the abundant world in which we now find ourselves, transformation in schools must be about empowering learners to organize their own learning and about delving deeply into the subjects that interest them, to live on a “perpetual learning curve.” Those are the skills they need to be successful learners in their adult lives. The emphasis shifts from knowing to learning."From Master Teacher to Master Learner, Will Richardson

Here is my visual interpretation of what Will Richardson calls the perpetual learning curve of the modern learner. I have no scientific basis for this graphic other than the influence of co-learners (PLN contributors) like Will Richardson, Jackie Gerstein, Jon Andrews, Aaron Davis, George Siemens, Yong Zhao, Stewart HaseAlan November, and many others.

Observations and Experiences - Stewart Hase states, "Learning is intrinsic to the learner. Every brain is different as a result of experience. People are naturally self-determined learners pretty well from birth." Thus, everything we observe and experience creates opportunities for deeper meaning.  The late Grant Wiggins reminds us in this post, Experiential Learning, meaningful learning is more than "hands on", it's also "minds on".


Edutopia, Rebecca Alber

Inquiry - Justin Tarte, Jackie Gerstein, and Alan November will tell you that deep, meaningful learning is preceded by powerful, essential questions developed by the learner. According to Linda Nitsche, an essential question provokes deeper thinking, solicits information, drives further investigation, and results in an original answer or idea. 

"Although essential questions are powerful advance organizers and curriculum drivers, the problem is that the essential questions are typically developed by the educator, not the learners. The educator may find these questions interesting and engaging, but that does not insure that students will find them as such." - Dr. Jackie Gerstein

Edutopia, John Larmer


Investigation - Not homework, but extended learning opportunities become beneficial when learners are empowered to pursue answers to questions of their own choosing. More than research, investigation means reaching out to experts, digging deep to find original sources, organizing a disjointed collection of material into a meaningful center. Educators Paul Solarz and Joy Kirr, are champions of Genius Hour and digital portfolio development because choice, voice, and self-organization are engaging, and empowering processes for the participant learner.

Edutopia, Josh Weisgrau


Contribution - Transparently sharing products of learning with authentic audiences is an impactful leap forward. Contribution pushes the bar higher by asking learners to support and advance the learning of others. Some students are fortunate enough to make global connections, and gain a new perspective through the self-publishing of their work to the web. Alan November when contrasting the difference between technology and innovation asks, "Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution (purposeful work)? - Transformational Six

Edutopia, Mirjam Schoning


Reflection - What am I doing? Why am I doing this? What have I learned? What new questions do I have? What could I have done differently? How will this help me and others? Reflection takes time and practice, but it is the essential step in crystallizing and perpetuating deeper learning. Will Richardson, in describing productive learning, quotes Seymour Sarason in his recent publication, From Master Teacher to Master Learner, "the learning process is one which engenders and reinforces wanting to learn more." Reflection keeps the inquiry door open so that we can learn more. The modern learning cycle repeats and the learning never stops.

Edutopia, Beth Holland

2 comments:

Joy Kirr said...

Bob - I LOVE the simple message in this post! Very intriguing. I'd love to use the photo/graphic. Is it yours? Can I cite you? Can I use it in Genius Hour workshop presentations with a link?? Let me know - thank you!

Robert Schuetz said...

Hello Joy,
I hope you are enjoying your summer break. Honored by your request - I created the graphic using Google Draw. Your welcome to use whatever you find of value. I just shared the graphic to your Gmail account. Copy and use as you see fit. Any suggestions for changes or additions?
Thanks for reaching out - have a great summer!
Bob