The current issue of Educational Leadership has an article that I felt had the right ring to it for the beginning of a new school year – it is titled “Joy in School” (Stephen Wolk) (click here for a TinyURL link). The article has little reference to technology or web tools, but it goes straight to the heart of what learning should be – JOYFUL.
“If the experience of “doing school” destroys children’s spirit to learn, their sense of wonder, their curiosity about the world, and their willingness to care for the human condition, have we succeeded as educators, no matter how well our students do on standardized tests?”
He goes on to explore 11 ways that educators can integrate JOY into the classroom, including: Give Students Choice, Take Time to Tinker, Get Outside, and Show Off Student Work, and he make an important distrinction between joy and fun.
Many of the ideas are simple and in fact I’ve seen many examples in local schools, but the impact we could have by integrating 9, 10 or all 11 of the ideas would be wonderful to see.