Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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How about Zenovating?
By Barbara Bray    August 20, 2008 -- 10:46 AM

I haven't been keeping up with my blog. Guess you would say I have taken time to enjoy the summer. Yep! But now it's time to get back and start sharing again. I tried to figure out what innovation means in today's world so I've been doing lots of research and thinking.

Learning is different today than what many of us as teachers thought it was all about. We defined learning as how we teach, what a classroom is supposed to be like, but we didn't define it from the learner's perspective.

All of us are learners. The world is changing and so should what we define as "School". Especially now with information being so readily available. Are we as teachers and administrators ready to take the challenge and "Let go?"

I found this article on Zenovate and wanted to share and expand on it:

The Eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang has long recognized this duality of the self that exists within each of us and the symbiotic relationship it requires to balance the two selves. Each of us is seen as both warrior and healer, aggressive and passive, masculine and feminine. It is through the harmonic balance of feminine yin and masculine yang that one finds true balance in opposing forces. As in Zen archery, without a focused control over opposing tensions, our lives can never achieve their target. In hindsight, many of the greatest minds in history were those who were whole-brain holistic thinkers, able to tap their creative depths and then focus them to practical application. Part of our team training method is to leverage this diversity of thinking styles within a team in order to empower their combined talents into a whole-brain collective.

Tom Hortel in this article explains that truly effective product development has to acknowledge and satisfy the emotional sides of a consumerís decision process while also providing them with a logical reason to believe. Itís how we connect "whatís needed" with "whatís possible."

It's that simple. Really! As educators, we complicate everything when if we involved our students in looking at solutions to problems and not giving them the solutions, nothing will stop them from reaching their fullest potential. We keep feeding them answers when they need to first decide on the problems and figure out the solutions together.

So many teachers are not ready to do this, were not prepared to design a classroom of problem-solvers, or even allowed to do this.

I see pockets of exemplary PBL and problem-solving, but it is usually a maverick teacher on their own. Many of the bloggers that we know were those teachers who took risks and secretly continue in the classroom following the rules and once-in-a-while, taking chances.

Is there a school, district, or university out there that has transformed their school where teachers and students are learners and problem-solvers?

Categories: "Authentic Learning" "Change" "Collaboration" "Innovation" "Life-long Learning" "Problem Solving"

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