I think the saying “Taking a risk in education” is starting to become more cliche than meaningful…
I was participating in an edchat the other day and the questions all stemmed around the idea of helping students improve. The majority of answers started to sound the same:
”We need to take risks in learning”
“Ts need to take risks with tech”
“Risks in education is the only way to get Ss successful”
“Support risks in the classroom”
“Allowing and supporting Ts to take risks”
The last one was basically what I wrote. After I had hit submit something dawned on me. What on earth were we all talking about? What risks? Who is taking them? What does that even mean? What does it mean learn through risk taking...or in my blog’s case - risk to learn?
It all starts with understanding what a risks in education are and why we need to take them...and for me, its really quite simple in concept - A risk in education is creating a learning environment for our students that steps out of the norm and allows students to own their learning. An environment that encourages students to ask questions, learn from failure, focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome, and using collaboration not as a point on a rubric - but a true sharing of new information and knowledge. Why? Students need something different...The teacher is no longer the keeper of knowledge...think about that for a second...The teacher is no longer the keeper of knowledge. What a shift in the educational world.
How long does a student have to wait to get an answer to a question they have? It is getting to the point where they only need to wait long enough to type a question or idea into a Google search engine...So how do teachers stay relevant and powerful...enter risk taking.
Where is the risk? It comes when we step away from the routine…This week I encourage you to look for those who are doing something different than the norm in a classroom. What is taking place with technology, collaboration, or projects? Where are student voices being heard and shared?
I will be doing the same this week, and I look forward to sharing the risks in education I see with others.