Friday, September 17, 2010

So What Does Your Philosophy Include?

So in our teaching philosophy, or our educational philosophy, just what are we willing to include? Does all the learning have to happen in the school? No, probably not. Can our teaching take the form of a game? Possibly? Can we include subject matter that is outside of our course content and count it as learning? Yes. What details about teaching/learning might we include in our teaching philosophies that are outside of the mainstream?

Over the years there have been countless “new” educational models created that have now grown old. Most recently the charter school element has created a variety of model schools that may or may not be replicable on a large scale. We have seen schools based using the outdoors as a primary venue; schools that use 1to1 computer strategies, and schools that project based learning methodologies. Montessori, Dewey, Holt and a host of other theorists who, over the years, have altered our perceptions of schooling, learning, and teaching and given us options that may or may not work better in our particular school, in our particular town. There certainly are a lot of options.

The author of our text, Will Richardson, ponders one such option (for some) in his recent blog post on a school in NY that uses gaming, game theory and creation, as well as game playing, as a large part of the schooling of the students. He points to a recent article in the NY Times about this school and ponders the value of such alternatives. Are we ready for a “gaming school?” Is that just too far out there? Does it have a place in our educational philosophy? The Times article contains the video below looking at the school. After the commercial of course.