My last post garnered a comment from Paul Wilkinson in New Zealand. That led to me poking around his blog and learning about the work he’s doing in his classroom. Great stuff.
I’ve been thinking lately about an idea that was touched on in my pre-service teacher training at University – authentic assessment. The idea was coming back into its own when I heard about it and is batted around edublogs quite often, but I want to incorporate it into my classroom as much as possible.
In it’s more academic form, what Warlick describes as “Passion-Based Learning” is differentiated instruction. The difference would be that DI focuses on learning gaps and meeting learners’ achievement needs while the new PBL would focus on engagement, getting students wanting to learn and share and create and all of those wonderful verbs that don’t pop up enough in federal, state and county standards.
Looking at my students now, it’s undeniably difficult to put together a lesson that will engage Demond who loves football, Coty who is a tagger (graffiti artist), Elsie who is a writer, Missy who is a gymnast, etc. By engage, I’m not talking, simply getting them to pay attention, but getting them to care, to see school as relevant not to the futures they haven’t quite gotten into focus yet, but relevant to those activities they feel they’re suffering through the school day to get to.
I need to focus on formulating learning plans that will offer this type of passion-based engagement and still allow for DI. Thoughts?