The Secret of Change Is to Focus All of Your Energy, Not on Fighting the Old, But on Building the New – Socrates
As our whole school inquiry developed, we saw students and staff “taking action” on what they were learning. Mr. Muthanna, our Grade 4/5 teacher writes about his experience in this post.
The most recent provocation for our school, which was grounded solidly on the reality of garbage picked up by our custodian, has sparked breakthrough thinking in my classroom! Presented with an idea that was originally teacher-guided, we looked at an issue close to our hearts: how our garbage affects animals in the environment – which spurred us to student-driven inquiry and the kids working collaboratively to generate ideas to solve our problem.
Students are designing online presentations to promote shared responsibility and to encourage other classes; they are researching the practices of other countries in the hopes of changing some of our own; they are building sculpture out of recycled materials to show you can create beauty from the discarded; they are producing stop motion videos to share the real impact and tragedy of litter; they are composing songs to make the rules of recycling easy to remember; and several are inventing machines that will make the clean up of garbage easier for everyone.
The real story here is not in their contraptions, inventions, art or writing. It is in the infectious passion that infused our learning. Rather than complain, or find fault in the work of others, our students have focused on contributing positively. And in that single decision, they have made the most important choice they can about our shared future.