I love this quote from Jay Cross:
“Curriculum is for kids; exploration is for adults.”
I brings me back once again to the idea that Ted Sizer expressed about the disconnect between the way the school system teaches kids and the ways in which adults teach themselves. I can’t imagine not learning by exploration, which is what I do every day of my life. I’ve developed my own curriculum of sorts that changes based on where my explorations take me. Today, if you check what I’ve been Furling, it’s about social software. Tomorrow, if may be about podcasting. The key is my self-interest in these topics motivates me to learn, and within the context of those explorations I learn other things too, how to write clearly, how to negotiate meaning, how to think critically.
Maybe it’s because over the last couple of weeks I’ve been hearing the boredom of my daughter and the boredom of my students. What they are experiencing is not meaningful learning…they’re just getting through. Terry said it so well yesterday:
The best weblogs are their own reward. A few students get that right away, then they ask themselves, “What do I need a teacher for?”
And that’s sad, isn’t it, because kids see teachers as the people who deliver content, not as the people who teach them how to learn. That’s what kids need teachers for. To show them what learning looks like, how messy and reflective and individualized it really is. To show them what a wonderful gift failure is. We all do this differently. For me, much of it happens here when I take the time to put words to my ideas, or when I’m trying to build something or coach my kids. It rarely happens with 25 other people consuming the same content at the same pace in the same place… It is exploration.
Blog as exploration. I like that metaphor too…
Tom Hoffman says
I must say, I think that “curriculum is for kids” quote sucks. Exploration and curriculum are in no way mutually exclusive.