Goal 18: Make a Small Change to Your Curriculum of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators! Click the link to find out more about the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators!

Have you ever watched toddlers play in a playground? You will notice how the children interact with the objects and nature around them. You will see their eyes question then see the way in which they resolve the problem that has risen in their minds. Kids are naturally curious. They are discovering their world and when something doesn’t fit they will interact with others and figure out a way this works best for them. While training teachers, I often show this video, Nathan Playing at PreSchooland ask teachers to reflect on how Nathan and his friend are learning. Nathan and his friend make muffins out of the leaves and dirt. They then go to bake them but find the muffin tray doesn’t fit. They then figure out a solution together and the way they do this is without any words. Watch the video to discover the imaginative way in which they resolve the issue.

This type of learning encourages play, movement, the exploration of curiosities, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, real world application, personalization, and critical thinking. These are all the characteristics of learning that engages and motivates. Our students crave and need this kind of learning in order to find their paths and discover more about themselves and their interests. They are continually discovering how their talents and skills will be used to mark their place in their world. They want to make sense of it all and schools should have curriculums that motivate learners to uncover their passions or explore their curiosities through experimentation and play.

The Status Quo

We have millions of kids out there who are not focused. They repeat poverty cycles, end up in jail, or become addicts. They are part of an educational system that focuses on test results. They are taught from curriculums that focus on standardized testing results which means a lot of drilling of facts. Students stay in desks for most of the day and recite answers in order to pass or get their teachers and parents off their backs. They don’t want to learn because most learning in schools is tedious, boring, and irrelevant. None of us enjoy answering questions from a textbook or bubbling answers on a worksheet because we don’t really learn much from this process.

Wouldn’t it be better for our students to instead get out of their desks, work with their peers, come up with many solutions for a problem, and test them all until they come up with the solution that works for them?

We will walk into our classes this week and we have a choice. We can decide to lecture, drill, have students answer questions from textbooks, fill in worksheets, and follow our set-out curriculums to a tee. Or we can choose to teach in a way that gets backs to the roots of the learning that inspired and engaged us before we went to school. I hope that many of you will look at your curriculum and see how you can make it support authentic and engaging learning. It is not an easy adjustment but the time investment is worth it because at the end of the year you will actually like being a teacher, your students will have experienced so much growth, and you will have inspired some of your learners to enjoy learning. Try changing one thing a week or month. That’s what helped me. I began with the chapter tests and switched them into projects. Then I tackled bookwork, vocabulary quizzes, and getting rid of multiple choice activities. I took baby steps until eventually I was the kind of educator I enjoyed being.

This post was originally posted on the SmartBlog for Education.

The 30 Goals Challenge

As part of The 30 Goals Challenge I would like to inspire you to accomplish these goals: Short-term- Change, modify, or adapt a test, lesson plan, bookwork, quiz, and/or item in your curriculum in order to make it support authentic and engaging learning. Long-term- Try changing, modifying, or adapting items in your curriculum each month till you feel that your curriculum is the kind that supports engaging and authentic learning. We can always make adjustments and improvements.

Important News

Challenge:

Change one thing in your curriculum to support engaging and authentic learning.

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!

Be inspired with these Inspirational songs, videos, quotes, and more on my Pinterest board, Inspiration for World Changers!

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