No, it’s not what you think… this term “hacking”. Hacking is not only subject to the idea of hacking your computer, bank account, etc. As Bud Hunt describes the term in one of his earlier blog posts, “The original definition of a hack was a fiddle that improved a process or a program.” He relates it to the idea that we (as learners) should hack our way of learning. I could not agree more.
Today, traditional education lacks something. Somewhere along the decades we lost the oomf that we once had. As learners, we must never stop asking questions or trying to better a situation. Education right now is stagnant. We’re missing something important… happiness.
Happiness is a term that everyone defines differently. No one truly has the same idea of happiness. So why then do we constraint the ideas of students to four basic subjects math, science, english, and social studies? Why then, do we force students to answer questions that they do not care to know the answer to? Yes, students need to know the information being taught, but isn’t there a better way to go about it?
Here are two steps that I have been considering going forward in my learning process.
STEP ONE: CREATIVITY
Creativity is important and anyone going into the education system can tell you this. Children and young teenagers have the ability to think for themselves. They are brilliant human beings in their own ways, given the opportunity. We are all unique and bring our own gifts to this world. If, as teachers, we do not allow students to find their gifted talents how will they prosper in the world as they should?
Creativity in the classroom brings forth the opportunity to discover happiness. Yes, happiness, this thing we all want in life. Logan LaPlante discovered his happiness through homeschooling. Kids know what they want to be when they grow up he states, “Something so simple, so obvious, so profound, I want to be happy.”
The idea that society has created that we will only be happy after we have went to school, gotten our dream job, and created a family is simply false and unrealistic. We can be happy right now, but we must have the courage to search for it and be given an opportunity to do so. Creativity in schools allows students the opportunity to go beyond their limits to find happiness. How cool is that? Something so simple as creativity can make such a difference in education.
Happiness needs to be the root in education. Our student’s should be happy, healthy, safe, and successful. As educators, this is what we should be teaching for generations to come.
STEP TWO: FLIP THE CLASSROOM
Teachers may think that in order to do their job correctly, they must stand in front of a classroom and lecture for 50 minutes. As much fun as this sounds to listen to, there is a grander way out there! Flip the classroom! Let the kids lead the discussion and you (as the teacher) answer their questions and get them thinking in a different way. This allows the brain to discover new limits and ideas… it allows play and creativity!
Too often teachers spend time and energy asking the questions. However, a true learner isn’t the one answering the questions being asked, a true learner is the one asking.
Why not flip the classroom? Allow the students to ask the questions that they are most interested in. Create a well-organized discussion that engages students to think independently and as an entire group. One may be surprised at the outcome of this exercise.
Together, we can hackschooling.