Sunday, February 14, 2016

experiential education

This past Saturday, I helped host a conference on Experiential Education.

If you don't know what that means, it may very well mean you are already doing it and don't realize that it has a title. Doesn't matter how old you are or at what stage of your education you are in, or who you are teaching.

The title of this conference was: Buzzwords.
Project Based Learning

These 3 buzzzwords were the focus.
How do we teach Grit? and What is it? other than a very vague term for a breakfast dish.
How do we change Mindset? Because the sky is always Blue, but can be a different color.
How do we show that 1+1 can equal two, but 2 can be infinite?

It became quite aware to me from early on, that I was already teaching this to my kids.

You will fail.  There is never a doubt,  No matter how well you do, but at some point, you will fail.  You will fail someone else's perspective on what you should be, You will fail on your report card on how well you should have done in a class.  You will fail on a first impression.  We all fail.  Grit is how you get up from that.  How you are taught to brush it off and keep going.
They thought Charley was a girl trying to get into the Boys dressing room for his performances..Aka: failing someone else's perspective.  He made it very clear who he was and why he was there.

" I can't do that" "I'm not capable" " I'm not sure"
With the right guidance can turn into "I haven't tried this before but am willing too", "I have failed before but it taught me what I know what not to do again", "This could be a fun challenge"
This is what I teach my kiddos; Change your mindset, change your lives.  It's only what YOU believe that can keep you from accomplishing your goals.
So many times people have heard that my boys dance and they cringe without thinking they are being noticed for doing so. My boys immediately see it...they are children after all, and immediately think how stupid people can be, which leads them back to Grit. and how they have to be that much more resilient and smarter than everyone else
That leaves Project Based Learning (PBL).
This can be a touchy subject because it can take on curricula from an hour to a whole semester.
Or it can take on a half hour to a year.
How do you brush your teeth to how do you raise a garden that produces vegetables.

Helping to plan this conference has been an eye opener for me.  More so in the fact that these 3 Buzzwords are how I have raised my children all along.  It was how I was raised, and how I was taught.
Most importantly I was taught that you don't get a trophy unless you earn it, and unless you can figure out what you are doing wrong, you can not improve to ever succeed.  And that determines your level of Grit, Mindset, and how you will solve your problem.