Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quiet! I'm cultivating habits of mind!

Image from Boston Day and Evening Academy
Why might setting aside time to be quiet and work seem less revolutionary and more copping out?
As if as teachers our job is to constantly decide the direction of our students' minds by having them in an active and doing mode and this is done by talking (or being talked at) and producing. On a basic level, couldn't teaching be about designing ways to incorporate time and space to "practice" ways of learning (habits of mind?) that students might add to a repertoire for making sense and making meaning in their lives? This seems so counter to the rush and crush of semester-life. How can we slow it down and make it meaningful? How can we trust that our students will learn and gain from this?
What I'm getting from others' posts, comments, and replies are the subtle signals and designs of curricula--from standardized exit exams to jam-packed content courses--the ways in which we have been conditioned to push for louder more than quieter and productive more than reflective. But I'm also seeing from your posts, replies, and comments (for example, see Irwin's and Nicole's) the ease with which these assumptions/practices can be pierced and the subtle ways we can make visible, resist, and redirect our classrooms--if even for a few moments or activities at a time. I think that C2.0, while possibly busy, flashy, and a little complicated at first in pulling together platforms, connections, and lesson plans (i.e., the Trivium!), could provide these quiet and reflective spaces to cultivate habits of mind. (P.S. I get a lot of my language about habits of mind from the Writing Program Association's Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing, click HERE but I'm intrigued by the image above, linked to the Boston Day and Evening School. There's a quiet revolution going on... And maybe not so quiet.)

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