Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wanting to Learn More

For more about this drawing, which is inspired by Bryan Mathers's son and his paper airplanes, see Bryan's notes for this "visual thought" at his blog: Visual Thinkery

There are some powerful elements in this drawing that are relevant to growth mindset and learning. Here are some thoughts from me:

Productive v. Unproductive Learning: There is indeed a thing called "unproductive learning" ... and that is the kind of learning you do to get a grade on a "big test" (as shown here) or any other kind of learning you are doing to meet other people's goals and standards that are not your own goals and standards. For learning to be productive, it needs to contribute to your own growth as a person in ways that are meaningful to you. Otherwise, you know how it goes: you "learn" something for the test, and then then you forget about it!

Wanting to Learn More: The best learning is the kind of learning that makes you want to learn more. Instead of answering questions and calling it done, productive learning leaves you with more questions: "I wonder..." as you can see here in the drawing. Just think of all the questions you could ask yourself after building some paper airplanes! Learning is never finished, just as growth is not finish: you keep on learning and you keep on growing all your life, and school is just one part of the process. 

So.... now we just need to figure out how to make room for more productive learning in school!

Drawing by Bryan Mathers with ideas from Seymour Sarason and Will Richardson.

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