In the midst of paradigm shifts, questioning becomes more urgent. What is one changing from, where does one want to go, what does one wish to achieve, why is it so urgent to adapt to newness?
In the middle of my mini project on digital storytelling, I can’t help but reflect on how I plot lessons. A lesson is like a musical piece, each having three distinct movements. Not only in terms of a beginning, middle and ending, but more like a stream of music where notes blend and rhythms are created.
And I confess: I have always hated the static lesson plan. Not that they are irrelevant – by no means. As trainees start their journey into education, knowing how to plot and prepare lessons is important. But are they taught how to be prepared for that unexpected moment when learning may happen? Are they trained to take advantage of learning opportunities raised by students? Jim Scivener speaks about the need to demand higher standards in the teaching of English language, that teaching has become a routine performance with close to perfect lesson plans yet inquiring into where the learning is.
Static lesson plans do not encourage creativity nor learning. I prefer to regard lesson plans as a web, where there is a structure but also flexibility for the teacher to take opportunity to explore and exploit the moments of curiosity that learners express. Curiosity opens the door to making connections and hence new ways of seeing the world. Curiosity nudges learners into reflecting and in reflecting, to learning.
Curiosity leads to connections.
Learning is about the ability to face the waves of life. It is not static. Nor are learners meant to be still ships stranded on silent sands.
Implementing digital storytelling is one way of unleashing learning, learners’ autonomy and their journey into curiosity.
Storytelling challenges learners to think, to plan, to create meanings.
Engaging and challenging, learners like ships, are meant to sail into unknown territories of learning, making connections, discovering new meanings and ways of knowing.
(image: Waiting for Freedom)
How do unleash curiosity in classrooms?
Demand High ELT – J.Srivener and Adrian Underhill