All of our lives we have been taught certain things in a certain way. For example, in the classroom the teacher is the leader, has a wealth of knowledge, and is there to teach us what we don’t know. What if the way we have always learned things isn’t the only way, and not only that, what if there is a better way to get students to understand material and learn all the necessary skills and material through their own interests? There are new ways for students to learn through experience as well as be innovative learners all on their own, we should be listening.
“I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask “what is best for learners.” This quote from the blog post The Mindset of an Innovator really gets to the heart about what innovative teaching and learning is really all about. The spirit of innovation is really to prepare students for 21st century careers and learning. It is taking students true needs to learn such as collaboration, exploration, and technology and actively seeking better ways to implement these in their learning lives.
“We need to unlearn the idea that we are the sole content experts in the classroom, because we can now connect our kids to people who know far more than we do about the material we’re teaching.” How powerful is this message from the blog post The Unlearning Curve? I know that I grew up learning and thinking that my teacher was the know all end all. If they didn’t know the answer to my questions then surely nobody else knew the answers to them either. Unlearning these old practices not only requires one to be an innovative learner, it requires us to be open minded as educators as well. With our technology filled world our students can get answers from experts in the field in the blink of an eye. We should utilize and be open to these resources. As suggested we should “unlearn” all of these archaic notions that we are the only source to teach the students the subject matter. Truly, we can learn from our students and they can learn from so many more than just us.
As educators in this 21st century world it is our duty to our students and ourselves to unlearn the old ways and be innovative learners and teachers. There is such a huge world with so much knowledge, expertise, and guidance that our students can use. We should open those doors to them in the classroom and allow them to explore these avenues of learning. Otherwise, is what we are teaching them really applicable to the real world?