What If We Redesigned Schools to Truly Honor Student Passion and Play?

I’m sharing here a post by Aaron Eden, a powerful voice and agent of change in education. His words  are an extension of the work done by countless teachers who are “getting out of the way” of their students and offering more choice, offering a view of education as “play,” which is the true work of the child.  Mr. Eden’s work flies parallel but a bit further, perhaps, than the work of genius hours/20 time projects such as those popularized by Kevin Brookhouser, Joy Kirr, and even myself, but only because of the systemic constraints we face. Don Wettrick’s work in his Innovations Class at Noblesville HS, Indiana and in his book Pure Genius might be the logical next step to extend us towards Mr. Eden’s vision, and it’s certainly the starting point for the creation of the new “Design-Lab” class at my own HS, which I’m co-creating and piloting this year with 13 students who are looking to learn as much as they can about themselves, their world, and making it a better place.

Eric Mazur introduced the flipped classroom to much interest a couple of decades ago. The idea—and a very good one—is that the time we have together in class is precious, and is being totally underutilized by a one-to-many dissemination of information. In the internet age, Mazur thought, why couldn’t we do the lecture outside of class, […]

via Assisted Accountability – The True Flipped Classroom — Edunautics

4 thoughts on “What If We Redesigned Schools to Truly Honor Student Passion and Play?

  1. Thanks so much for sharing my post Garreth. My main work right now is working with schools in carving out 2 to 3 week “liberated” spaces — off-timetable, emergent, community-integrated, student-directed, value-based learning — and LEAP Academy -style hybrid spaces that are ongoing. Would love to play in these spaces together if you know of anywhere ready to take the plunge! Give me a shout if you want to chat.


    • Aaron, For a long time, I’ve spent my summers at home with my three children and wife (also a teacher). We go on scavenger hunts, bike rides, fish, play games, etc. But I’m always looking for an educational outlet for myself, something to challenge me and push me to be a better, always different teacher. I taught for a local teacher’s college for a few years and helped them redesign one of their classes (Expanding Student Thinking in the Classroom), but I found that most of the teachers were just putting in seat time in a “Master’s Mill” and became disenchanted so I stopped that and just continued following my gut and doing my autodidactic stuff.

      All this by way of asking, what would this LEAP space look like and is the East Coast ready for such a space. I’d love to try one out and get my own kids into something like it. Lord knows I’m wholly dissatisfied with the “space” they get to explore when in school.

      In addition to my work in “higher” education, I have a lot of experience with Design Thinking and leading such work. I’m a member of the advisory board for two national coalitions working, slowly, to help design based learning move forward. See my Linkedin space for that: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-heidt-6146656

      Liked by 1 person

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