TED Conversations

Matt Dale

Teacher and Coach, Canyon High School

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Who do I contact about joining the learning and education revolution?

After much thought and preparation, I have decided that I am ready to pursue the opportunity to begin and enact the learning revolution. I have been teaching for 8 years and am ready to do my part to create an educational system that truly taps into the incredible potential of our young people. I am willing to move almost anywhere to make this happen and join people with the resources and determination to effectively change the education paradigm. I emailed this same question to Sir Ken Robinson, but I just need to know if anyone else out there can point me in the right direction.

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    Mar 29 2011: Diane Ravitch says "speak up". Check her out on youtube.

    You are a teacher, listen to your children. What do they want to do, how do they want to learn? As teachers we need to tap into our children's interests. Let's start the revolution...let's start teaching the children. We did this more than 10 years ago at a school in Colorado and we had amazing results. Let's work towards a truly child centred learning approach. Let's begin the journey and share it with the world. I look forward to hearing what you do in your classroom and the impact it can have on others, most importantly, the children you teach.
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      Mar 30 2011: I am doing some interesting things in my class now (unique approaches to learning), and would love to hear what you did at this Colorado school.
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        Mar 30 2011: It is difficult to summarise what we did at the school I worked at in Colorado but I’ll make an attempt.
        We found out each child’s strengths and needs and taught to that. We let the children write what they wanted to write, teaching an individual child what he or she needed to know. We let children “have a go” and used their approximations to let us know what the children needed to learn next. We focused on the writing process (from “Dancing with the Pen”) and celebrated each child’s published work.

        We used shared and guided reading. We used whole class teacher demonstrations of reading, writing, researching and finding out. The children engaged in the same process the teacher demonstrated. The teacher modeled various genres over the year.

        In mathematics, we opened the learning environment up by giving the child a mathematics topic to investigate. The teacher modeled her own investigation on a topic, for instance geometry. The children then did their own ‘investigation’ such as manipulating plastic shapes then making a recording. The teacher worked with individual children to help connect what they knew to the associated language of mathematics such as addition or subtraction. We celebrated each child’s contribution as a Mathematician (again, difficult to summarise).

        I’d love to hear more about the unique approaches you are using in your classroom. These need to be shared so we can all contribute to the learning revolution. I’m sure that what I was involved in doing in Colorado is the same as what you are doing (and more) in your classroom now… over 10 years later.

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