curious or furious

"I am so furious with you" ... were the words I heard this afternoon from a mum who was having quick words with her young child near the supermarket. Her child looked about 2 or 3. I don't know what had led to this quite public reprimand - but it immediately brought to mind - with a sense of irony - the word we have placed high on our agenda at school this year - curious.

A thought bounced around ... curious or furious? What two interesting contrasts in educating new generations. Are we encouraging a spirit of curiosity or are we building up a wall of ultimate disengagement and perhaps growing a generation of 'furious' adolescents, fed up with the disconnect between the world we have helped shape as adults - the world where learning can be drawn into our sphere through a highly mobile hand held device and the world of schools where it is unfortunately still about management, more than engagement and control more than empowerment.

I also recall Marc Prensky's words 'engage me or enrage me'. What is the impact of the educational experience of our schools? It is time to be bold. If we are not, we will fail another generation. Learning must be authentic, deep, motivating and powerful. And above all relational.

This year we have introduced a new question into our practice - what are you curious about? I love this question. In its innocence it is highly personal, clearly differentiated and it opens so many doors to further thought.

So what is our legacy to be: curious or furious? 

Pedagogy needs to inform the design process

The following question in the context of a conversation connected to class size was posed to me via Twitter and the blog of @danhaesler and warrants a response longer than 140 characters:

“A poor lesson in front of 40 kids will still be a poor lesson in front of 20”. Could a great lesson in front of 20 still be a great lesson in front of 40? Just throwing the question out there. I am not a teacher and have no research to quote.

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