Our five-stage framework seeks to provide a road map for teachers and leaders to transform school from where we are now to schooling that cultivates world changers. We advocate deeper principles of learning over prescriptive strategies to allow educators to flexibly adapt to their unique situations.
So, what are the deeper principles of learning behind cultivating world changers? Maybe something like this:
1. Learning best happens when students use disciplinary thinking (math, reading, writing, geography, art, etc.) to uncover concepts that are central to solving a real-world problem.
2. Learning best happens when there is enough time to allow students to make plans and overcome challenges that arise along the way. Teachers do not take out all of the messiness that accompanies complex problems, instead facilitating the cultivation of problem-solving techniques and planning strategies.
Questions you can ask yourself as you seek to cultivate world changers:
1. Do I have clearly articulated conceptual relationships about my discipline that I want students to discover through the learning process?
2. Do I have clearly articulated disciplinary thinking moves that experts make during the process of discovering phenomena or solving problems?
3. Can I center instruction around a real-world problem that will help students to practice the disciplinary thinking moves and uncover and apply conceptual relationships?
4. Am I careful not to over plan by ironing out all the details for the students? Am I sure to provide enough time for students to work through planning, trouble-shooting and learning from trial and error?
Our framework requires teachers and leaders to be innovative problem-solvers, building and practicing all of the skills we want to cultivate in students. Be sure to have fun and reflect on lessons learned through your own trial and error along the way!