I BELIEVE statements

l believe that learning is a reiterative PROCESS. Just because you TEACH something, it doesn't mean anyone has LEARNED it.
Students may need to go back to the beginning, repeat, and make mistakes until they master something. Too often we 'move on' in class before anyone really understands.
Explorations in multiple modes of expression provide opportunities for closer examination. [ SUPERNOVA PROJECT - Close visual reading of a text provides more context and a reason to examine ]

I believe that learning must be RELEVANT.
[ RIP/REMIX CULTURE PROJECT - In digital culture there are no copies. Only originals. This is what the music and film industry are struggling with. As new forms of culture emerge, how do we judge them with critical minds? Is copyright law helping to protect artists or is it preventing society from access to its native culture? ]

I believe that students should stop looking for answers and start asking QUESTIONS. Curiosity and inquiry are everything. In life, there are no worksheets. [ THE SCIENCE OF ART - The Mystery of Duchamp OR why the hell do Wags and Mazza have the same image hanging on the wall in their classroom? ] Let us reconnect art to the rest of the world. Art is not a subject to be learned. It is a way of learning. One does not "learn science", one adopts a scientific way of thinking. One of the ways that the artistic process mirrors the scientific method is through INQUIRY.
Artists perform EXPERIMENTS.
Artists have theories.
Artists must be curious and open minded.
Artists cannot be afraid to be WRONG. In science there is no WRONG, there is only TRY AGAIN.
Art inspires thinking from different perspectives. Art communicates what cannot be said.

Education is about learning not teaching.

Reversing the 'teacher as all-knowing bestower of information'

Students have been 'taught' that they cannot educate themselves. They wait to be told what things mean.
This needs to change.
Practice being WRONG.
Practice making MISTAKES
Stop looking for answers, start ASKING QUESTIONS.
What if students were graded, not on the answers they gave, but on the questions they asked?

In art, there are no answers, only questions.


Another topic of research by Pink: MOTIVATION.
New book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

One of the biggest problems I face is how to maintain student motivation. After all, that is THE key to learning. Trying to learn without motivation turns into drudgery, where 'studying' is a chore and you resort to methods of memorization just to get a good grade on the test. And that's what the whole problem is with 'school'. It's a series of things you're forced to do day after day without knowing why, without any relevant connection to the real world.
It's not surprising that there is little motivation when you have no say in what you're expected to do.
Pink's theory is that we are more motivated when our work aligns with three principles: "[O]ur innate need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.", [Pink, Daniel H., Drive] In other words, when there is AUTONOMY, MASTERY, and PURPOSE.

Excerpt on AUTONOMY: (How can we create the scaffold?)
"Think for a moment about the great artists of the last hundred years and how they worked—people like Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock. Unlike for the rest of us, Motivation 2.0 was never their operating system. Nobody told them: You must paint this sort of picture. You must begin painting precisely at eight-thirty A.M. You must paint with the people we select to work with you. And you must paint this way. The very idea is ludicrous.

But you know what? It’s ludicrous for you, too. Whether you’re fixing sinks, ringing up groceries, selling cars, or writing a lesson plan, you and I need autonomy just as deeply as a great painter.

However, encouraging autonomy doesn’t mean discouraging accountability. Whatever operating system is in place, people must be accountable for their work. But there are different ways to achieve this end, each built on different assumptions about who we are deep down. Motivation 2.0 assumed that if people had freedom, they would shirk—and that autonomy was a way to bypass accountability. Motivation 3.0 begins with a different assumption. It presumes that people want to be accountable—and that making sure they have control over their task, their time, their technique, and their team is a pathway to that destination.

Of course, because most workplaces still reverberate with the assumptions of the old operating system, transitioning to "autonomy won’t—often can’t—happen in one fell swoop. If we pluck people out of controlling environments, when they’ve known nothing else, and plop them in an environment of undiluted autonomy, they’ll struggle. Organizations must provide, as Richard Ryan puts it, “scaffolding” to help every employee find his footing to make the transition.

We’re meant to be autonomous individuals, not individual automatons. We’re designed to be Type I. But outside forces—including the very idea that we need to be “managed”—have conspired to change our default setting and turn us into Type X. If we update the environments we’re in—not only at work, but also at school and at home—and if leaders recognize both the truth of the human condition and the science that supports it, we can return ourselves and our colleagues to our natural state.

The course of human history has always moved in the direction of greater freedom. And there’s a reason for that—because it’s in our nature to push for it,” Ryan told me. “If we were just plastic like [some] people think, this wouldn’t be "happening. But somebody stands in front of a tank in China. Women, who’ve been denied autonomy, keep advocating for rights. This is the course of history. This is why ultimately human nature, if it ever realizes itself, will do so by becoming more autonomous.”", [Pink, Daniel H., Drive]

Beginning To Create The Scaffold

Encourage mistakes, failures, and wrong answers.
Create an environment where it is safe to be wrong.
How do you create opportunities for students to function more autonomously?