This week I thought about what school would have been like for me as a student had it been interest driven. It would have been amazing for me, and just about every other student there. Imagine being able to explore different forms of writing through comics, open mics, and the like. Using manipulatives and mindcraft for math and science , I would have been there bright and early. Every child loves to learn through play, and to a large degree thats what student driven learning would be. Just like the Edutopia article , if a student can do his homework on Frank Lyod wright through the lens of minecraft, who wouldn't feel like its play, if thats what you're into? The idea of knowledge and education not only as play, but as an agent of change is epic. For a student to then take their learned knowledge about Frank Llyod Garrison, architecture and then look at the dilapidated homes in their community could certainly change the game. Its interesting how the readings and blog post is so effortlessly related to my social justice curricula class. In thinking about the implications of interest driven learning and culturally competent classrooms one walks aways with the same outcomes. In both all students are engaged in meaningful learning activities. In both we are championing students learning in meaningful ways for their own growth. They also both help students learn the skills needed to challenge and be successful in society. Lastly as educators under both ideals you are always open to learning and exploring different modalities for your learning and your students.
When I first began teaching I knew that there was no way my personal politics would not enter the room. This is because I knew I would be working with students from backgrounds similar to my own, in schools that are very similar to the ones I attended as a child. So I am all to familiar to the challenges many of my students and schools face. My students deserve better; better prepared teachers, better opportunities for growth, better supplies, ect. They know and I know they are being shortchanged both in and out of school, so how can I help them identify, address and change their environments? How can I help them see that this lives and stories matter, and that school can be a stepping stone to affect the change they want to see?