Ramblings on enforced independence #rhizo14 (week 2)

I'm way off the #rhizo14 schedule and I have a lot of catching up to do. You'd think with the silly amount of snow days and school cancellations I'd be able to get more done at home.


So in week 2, Dave says that if rhizomatic learning is going to be successful, people have to be more responsible for their own learning. We have to be able to "self-assess" and "self-remediate."

I'm thinking of how in schools we craft specific schedules to remediate kids. And other subjects/content/experiences are often sacrificed in the name of those remediations.

Kids don't get a choice. We schedule them into it because their data indicates they need it. We don't, for one second, think our youngest learners will be responsible for themselves, enough to self-remediate.

Do they know how to? Can they self-assess?

Can we use learner contracts with our youngest learners? To what extent?

Once you give people freedom, it's hard to take it back.

Have you ever worked in a school where administration has changed? And your first principal empowered you as a teacher, acknowledged you as a professional and encouraged you to take risks and supported you through the messy process of learning....... and then his/her successor micromanaged every aspect of your work in the classroom?

Brutal.

But kids live that. One year in a classroom with a teacher who values their independence. And the next year with a teacher who stomps on that freedom the child once found so exhilarating and freeing? Rough.

When do we see kids being assertive enough to say to their teachers, "I don’t know what this is, I’m going to go figure it out." (to quote Dave). That, to me, is a child who is responsible for his learning. And who will be successful.

As Dave describes about his own learning spaces, he crafts the conditions to "make" his students independent.

He leaves us with this question: How can we use enforced independence to our own advantage to make people more responsible for their learning and therefore more successful?

To which I add: Even our littlest learners?