Engage, Engage, Engage!

Engage, engage, engage, what more can I say about my philosophy concerning outstanding instructional practices.  Actual learning occurs when students (or adults for that matter) interact with their environment in a way that incorporates new and old learning.

We can only do this when students are actively participating in their learning.  This is a simple proclamation…putting it into practice is where the fun starts.  Public education is making huge strides in walking away from the “old style” of instructional practices where students sit docilely in their chairs and wait to be enlightened by the all-knowing teacher who is in the front of the room.  

I know public education has spent a lot of time, effort, and money to make sure that students are engaged in their learning. This is not to claim that one instructional technique is better than any other one (for example, I have seen lectures that are interactive and engage students in critical thinking).  Rather, public education is focusing on assuring that students in all of our classrooms have the opportunity to experience meaningful, engaged lessons. 

I am also encouraged by the number of organizations outside of education that are starting to engage public education in helping to meet the goal of engaged lessons in every classroom.  Many of these “edupreneurs” are breaking down walls between public education and private companies.  This is resulting in a creative tsunami in the field of education.  The wave of creative options available for educators to “fill their instructional toolbox” is also coming from organizations that have little formal coupling with education.  The “Maker” movement is a good example of this trend. I am excited that these types of organizations are adding to the creative zeitgeist of education.  

We live in a time where we have the opportunity to make education a meaningful experience for all of our children.  Engaging our students in their own learning so they can outshine the adults in creative and divergent thinking will help the students individually and society collectively.   

About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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