I work very hard to engage my students. I create meaningful, relevant lessons. I differentiate, adapt, and align everything.
Despite my best attempts to engage students, many students will simply pick apart the information they’re exposed to in order to identify what’s going to be “on the test.”
The culture of standardized testing has created a generation of students who can memorize facts and regurgitate information for assessments but have very little higher order thinking skills.
Recently, I was planning to attend a workshop so I created a video of myself teaching the topic of the day so that students wouldn’t miss a day of instruction. Included in that video were a clip of a Newton’s cradle demonstrating the law of conservation of momentum and a few short clips placing the information in a historical context. I imagined the video would encourage great discussion among the students, who, I was sure, would debate how Newton’s cradle worked and analyzing the images with respect to momentum.
Of course that’s not what happened.
My students hadn’t watched the video but simply skipped ahead to the parts of the video that told them the answers to the cloze notes. They had no concept of what the notes or video were about, but they had filled in the notes and that was good enough for them. There was no curiosity about why the Newton’s cradle video had been included or even what a Newton’s cradle was. As engaging as I thought my video was, my students simply had no #intellectualcuriosity.
Producing college and career ready students who can think creatively, analyze critically, and make decisions based on data requires intellectual curiosity, a growth mindset, grit, and outside-the-box thinking. Game based learning, including the spectrum of activities such as Quizziz.com, Kahoot.it, collaborative games, scenarios like Breakouts, and video games encourages students who are comfortable making mistakes and taking risks so that they can build the intellectual curiosity necessary to be independent thinkers and contributing members of society.