Learning is not a simple process nor is it merely complicated. It is very complex. It involves a balance between continuity, transition and novelty. The artful teacher is ever sensitive to this and works at maintaining it.
Schools are anxiety-producing machines. Teenagers live in a social jungle and are always in a state of heightened sensitivity to threat. The classroom can contribute to this and tip the scales to an unhealthy state without careful and deliberate action on the part of the teacher. Excessive anxiety is brought on through 1. Lack Of A Sense Of Control, 2. Unpredictability and, 3. Novelty.
But learning should be fun, right?? It should be and it can be with intentional effort in creating conditions for it.
Students require process skills and competency skills. They need to learn how to learn! It seems odd that school culture has almost become too risk-averse. We need to make the process of learning the priority. Too many teachers move to safety by teaching content instead of learning skills and work habits. In a world where content is at a student’s finger tips, continuing to place ourselves as content-delivery vehicles puts us at risk of obsolescence.
Shouldn’t we embrace failure? Should schools feel and function more like galleries or laboratories?