Is instruction really necessary in schools? That’s just one of the many intriguing questions we dive into in our latest podcast with our friend, mentor, and educational leader, Gary Stager, in a conversation that will have you thinking hard (once again) about teaching and learning in the modern world.
Gary’s focus is on the nature of teaching, and he says that since the mid-80’s, we have removed the art of teaching from teacher training, and now we have a generation of teachers who don’t know how to teach. To rectify this, we need to create a productive context for learning and “bridge the gap.” We do that by creating interesting, relevant projects instead of “reckless instruction.” Gary believes that deep, meaningful learning is often accompanied by obsession, and his focus is on answering the question: How can we create experiences and context in classrooms where kids can discover things they don’t know they love? This is done by implementing good projects that spur creativity, ownership, and relevance.
“A good project can replace a great deal of reckless instruction.” – Gary Stager
Through his professional learning conference Constructing Modern Knowledge (CMK), Gary has teachers put on their “learner hats” and learn how to create obsession, since, he says, very few of us have experienced what greatness looks like. In our conversation, Gary explains why he started CMK, what he wants to accomplish, and what he wants for educators. He shows teachers that the future of education can be much brighter. He also explains why he wants to spend more time advocating for arts education and why he thinks there is great value in a new focus and NOT committing to a curriculum.
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