Showing posts from September, 2017

Teacher-research intention

I've been thinking about the way work with materials can create a context for challenge and rigor within projects. On my best days I can think of provocations that activate cognitive conflict or critical thinking for children. It is one of the hardest things I do. I don't think I'm very good at showing this important aspect of an atelierista's job. This year I want to focus my teacher-research on becoming more consistent in planning and documenting the rigor and challenge this type of encounter with materials creates.

Cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling of encountering an idea that contradicts something you believe to be true. "Cognitive dissonance is a consequence of a person performing an action that contradicts personal beliefs, ideals, and values; and also occurs when (someone is) confronted with new information that contradicts said beliefs, ideals, and values." (wikipedia) Because we want to feel better and ease the mental discomfort of cog…

Umbrella Project 2017

The community at Sabot adopts a big idea every school year. Called the umbrella project, it's part of my job to shepherd it through. Teachers agree to set up encounters with the idea to provoke thinking and discussion. To start with, we spend time thinking about questions and provocations that will help children to shake hands with the idea and bring it into our community. This year’s idea is LISTENING. As social constructivists, we believe that learning is based on dialog and collaboration, and sharing each other's theories is the way we build new understandings. Listening is already part of our school life, but maybe we don't know it as well as we think we do.

My intention is to broaden my relationship with listening, to think about it in new ways. I'm wondering if I can get better at listening with empathy and without judgement. This seems especially urgent right now, here in the former capital of the confederacy, with our friends in Charlottesville just down the r…