Embracing a School-Wide Explorer’s Mindset is More Important Than Ever

gether exploring how our own views of the world influence our students’ curiosity, sense of responsibility to others, and perceptions of personal empowerment to lead change. Because this past school year marked challenges and opportunities for growth like never before, these kinds of questions and conversations are more prominent than ever. We are embracing a school-wide Explorer’s Mindset as we reflect on the past year and plan for the horizon ahead.  Continue reading Embracing a School-Wide Explorer’s Mindset is More Important Than Ever

Slow Down… Explore!

Anyone can be an explorer and can notice interesting things about the world around them. You do not have to go somewhere far away or exotic, you just have to be curious and spend time looking. In today’s environment, a lot of people feel uncomfortable spending unstructured time outside and need help figuring out how to slow down. I worked with my teen volunteering group, the Green Teens, to explore this concept and come up with ways for parents to support their kids in spending time together outside. All of the activities that we developed together were posted on the Museum’s social media sites for parents to use. Families did not need to have access to a backyard or any sort of complicated materials.  Continue reading Slow Down… Explore!

Teaching is an Act of Poetry

I want you to take a moment to see that every inch of what you have done this year as an educator and as a learner, as a human being, is already an act of poetry. When you have engaged in science and geography learning, espousing the Explorer Mindset through curiosity, observation and collaboration, you have been an act of poetry asking others to exchange with you and with each other their unique experiences. When you have asked them to study the history of those who came before them, to explore ancient civilizations and understand the human journey, they connect themselves to the wind and the tastes and the smells and the feeling of being in those moments, in the poetry of the bones of those who came before us. When you ask them to solve math problems and calculate the physics of how our shared planet operates, when you humanize numerical interactions, you are asking them to feel that sense of meaningful struggle and discovery and seeking out ways to understand things with universal connective tissues.  Continue reading Teaching is an Act of Poetry

True Grit Trumps Talent and IQ

EDUCATION Here’s a story every parent (and educator) should read: Self-control and grit—not talent or IQ—may hold the keys to a better life. Pioneering research psychologist Angela Duckworth and her team devise strategies to help students learn how to work and adapt in the face of temptation, distraction, and defeat. (7,703 words) (National Geographic News) Read our “real-world geography” profile of Angela Duckworth. Then take … Continue reading True Grit Trumps Talent and IQ

Black-Market Learning or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wikipedia

“Wikipedia is essential for learning, but problematic for education.” It doesn’t have to be.¹ Wikipedia is the black market of learning², arousing skepticism for challenging two mainstream models of contemporary education. First, it’s part of the same “citizen”-driven knowledge acquisition that has fostered citizen journalists and citizen scientists—and disrupted traditional concepts of credibility. Perhaps even more disruptive, as academia and assessment move to more administrative … Continue reading Black-Market Learning or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wikipedia