Purpose-Driven Learning

Seeing tweets, over and over again, regarding the villainization of “worksheets,” (I know I have been guilty of this as well) I tweeted the following:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI struggle with the “black and white” generalization of practices because many great teachers do these practices right now. One of the tweets that I received on this struck me:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsWhen I look at educators on social media, it is to inspire people to get better, not scare them off of platforms because they feel they are doing everything wrong.

#weareonthesameteam

Do I think worksheets are fantastic and super fun? Nope.

There are a million variations on what a “worksheet” can constitute. What I first see in my head doesn’t seem too compelling in my mind, but that doesn’t mean that can’t be beneficial.

In my own life, I am going to tell you straight up, that I do things I hate.

All. Of. The. Time.

But those things I hate, are often pathways to things I love, or in pursuit of a more significant purpose.  I have been focusing on my health lately, and running on the treadmill is something that I have dreaded for years. Recently, it has been easier because I am thinking of it differently, not because the activity has changed.

I am seeing it as part of a bigger picture and leading to a better quality of life for not only myself but the time I spend with my daughter. I have more energy at home than I have in a while, and that investment in myself, even when it is in something that I am not fond of, seems much more natural to not only endure but to embrace.

The same things will apply to students in a classroom.  They are more likely to embrace something that is not the most “engaging” when they know it is part of a bigger purpose. I have been guilty early on in my career of telling students that they have to do something, “because I said so.” They didn’t see the bigger picture because I couldn’t articulate it to them.  Probably, because I couldn’t see the purpose myself.

Read the quote below:

Of course, every educator would say they want their students to feel “empowered.” But, this is not about “compliance” versus “empowerment.” It is a spectrum.

It is about how sometimes the “compliance” leads to the skills and thoughts for “empowerment.”

This post is not about the purpose of worksheets.  Is it about getting people to think – Do worksheets (or a million other things in education) lead to something purposeful?

When you find that “purpose,” the hard and tedious things seem a lot easier to take. Without them though, the learner experience in our classrooms can be tough to swallow.

Source: George Couros