I have a triple lesson on a Wednesday afternoon and as I introduced the topic of Complementary Therapy for their Unit 8 A/S.......I thought to myself, how can I make this lesson both interesting and encourage the group to bond and inspire independent learning...the answer SOLE!!
I started by showing them the excellent TED talks clip of Sugata....This was a perfect way of setting the scene.
I explained to the group the benefits of SOLE including...
- Taking ownership of learning
- Developing habits to be a lifelong learner
- Develop stronger memory call
- Increase motivation to learn
- Have fun!!
The group was told they can work together in groups of four, they can choose their groups and as Sugata says...cheating (sharing) is encouraged! They were told to use one computer per group. A question would be posed, pondered...and they would have 40mins to investigate this question, after this time they would have to feedback to the rest of the group there findings...
The results were fantastic! The class at first were not happy at all, they are so used to being given the notes and told what to do. It strikes me as such a shame that learning at this age group has become this, what does this say about education at the moment. Sugata's vision of big questions shaping learning and making wonder and curiosity at the forefront of everything..Is the curriculum that I want to teach.
After the first few moments of discomfort...the class settled to work and a lovely buzz was felt in the room. I was delighted with the classroom climate and the way they worked together. They did think I had gone slightly mad posing this question and then letting them just get on with it, it was clear they started to enjoy the lesson and the presentations they came up with were fantastic. A much deeper level of learning was seen, it was a really enjoyable lesson and the reflections afterwards spoke volumes about SOLE and how much the class had learnt. The group where then able to use the information they gained to produce an essay on the effects of complementary therapy.
The group post-it noted their thought on the lesson and it was interesting to see comments such as...
"I sort of enjoyed the lesson, it got me thinking" "I really enjoyed the lesson, I learnt loads and it was fun!"
The comment.... "I sort of enjoyed the lesson" made me really think and after further questioning and much reflection, it is clear that after years of being taught in a certain way, talked at and notes handed out...Sugata's SOLE takes them out of their comfort zone and challenges them. This can only be a good thing....they should be challenged, they should be a little stressed and they should be control of their learning! SOLE rules and its the best way to not only inspire learning but to also encourage independence and collaboration....No matter what the age!!!!!!