This week has been an interesting experience in working on a collaborative project in the asynchronous vacuum of cyberspace. I believe this is the largest group of people I have worked with to create a single product. And it is very difficult to make everybody’s schedules coexist. For example, I am a night owl because there is no possibly way for me to get any school work done when my young children are awake. However, 10 PM meeting times rarely works for ANYONE! Nonetheless, the rubric is coming along nicely, thanks to everyone’s hard work. I am thankful for those who do the initial trail blazing of structuring the rubric, because I often focus too much on the big picture that I get lost. Eventually, I did have the privilege of re-glossing the rubric with student lingo. I am afraid, however, that sometimes I get too silly with my verbiage to come across as a highly trained professional. Oh well… that’s what peer review is for, right?
As far as the reflection on lesson engagement, we had an interesting discussion on the idea of entertainment. I appreciate the idea that it’s not the teacher’s duty to entertain students. We do want students to work towards intrinsic motivation in their learning. However, the idea of entertainment is something that our students already have pre-installed when they enter our classrooms. Since birth, they have been bombarded with toys, sounds, television, and games for the main purpose of entertainment.
For some reason there’s a very subtle stigma that learning shouldn’t be fun. We boldly holler that learning IS fun… but very deep down, there’s a lingering doubt. However, we also know that the very best learning is extremely fun! So fun, in fact, you’re not really aware just how engaged you’ve been. If I could live at OMSI or Portland Children’s Museum in Portland, Oregon, I totally would! Those places are ridiculously fun!
Self-awareness that you are learning and you’re enjoying is a rather mature concept that doesn’t usually come natural to the modern student. I may be wrong, but I don’t think a mild bit of “trickery” into fun learning is such a bad thing.