Monday, 30 April 2012

Science behind Getting Out of the Box

One of the things I am enjoying most about my recent exposure to Twitter is how almost every single day I follow a link that has some piece of research or academic type study to support why the experience of a site based learning situation is so successful for all kinds of learners.

Today, a tweet from Annie Murphy Paul sent me to her The Brilliant Blog which in turn sent me to find out about the research Angela Leung has done on creativity outside a box (literally) and guess what she found out – yes, “Each person completed a test widely used to testcreativity; those who were outside did the test better than people who wereinside the box.”

One of the elements I enjoyed the most about my ICE School days was the fact that we spend very little of our time in a conventional classroom setting. Each day of the week a group was with me, the teacher, class, volunteers and I were out and about, travelling around the 167 acres of learning that comprise Northlands.

While I always felt any walking was worth it for the exercise factor alone, what became clear week over week, was how student conversations while they walked and looked at what ever caught their attention tended to be so connected to what the teacher and I were hoping they might learn. Then when I had the opportunity to read what they had written in their journals about things they found interesting, were wondering more about or wanted to record so they would not forget or the little details they choose to web or sketch I was often amazed to discover they GOT some connection with hardly a word from me.

Just this week Edna Sackson’s blog Who Controls the Learning had a cartoon of a teacher drawing and then opening a window to the outside world. I printed it and now it is taped to the cover of my journal.

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