Posted in Student Perspective, Why Unlearn?

A Students Perspective on why we NEED to unlearn our current system.

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Student X reads more books in a week than most adults do in a year.  He’s read Sapiens, Homo Deus , Superintelligence , Breakfast of Champions, Einstein: His Life & Universe, The Odyssey, The Stranger, Personal Power Through Awareness, Vagabonding and Thinking Fast and Slow in the past year just to name a few.  Everyday he enlightens us with something new that he has learned.  He has taught me and his classmates so much about so many different topics, he has lent me his books (I have only got through one of them) and he constantly makes connections to course material,  and get this,  in conversation with him he tells me that, “I have never felt smart in school”…..WHAT??
Meet Cameron Lamoureux, a grade 12 student who I have had the opportunity to coach and teach over the last three years.  In the first two years that I knew him, Cam’s teachers (including myself) would describe him as a very smart, and capable student who was not working to his full potential.  Cam is an extremely intelligent and insightful young man.  Below is a video interview and a post from his blog camlam.blog where he shares his views on our current system.  If this doesn’t get you to think twice about our need to unlearn, I’m not sure what will.

 

Learning to Learn

From the moment we start school, we are taught to play. There is certainly a lot of benefit to play. Although, the older we become the less we do it, we lose connection with our own interests and become distracted by material factors such as money or a new promotion. Our minds and bodies become less of a priority while we focus on larger goals for the well-being of others.

All of this playing teaches us something extremely valuable that traditional education does not. It teaches us to learn the way that we do best. Whether that be with our eyes, hands or ears.  Don’t get me wrong, I love standardized testing as much as the next guy. However, I am a firm believer in the power that each and every one of us possess to create change and add value to our world. Our everyday experiences are what make up our lives and in order to create the most meaning within those moments we must learn how we learn. Not as a society. As a human being. What is the best way for you to intake information. How do you learn? What factors contribute to your knowledge? These are questions that traditional schooling never answers. We are given a foundation of knowledge to memorize and regurgitate. The majority won’t even be given the opportunity to look inwardly for answers. Others may fall behind and give up on the learning process completely. Learning how to teach yourself any information  you desire to learn is a priceless tool that most people will never truly master or take advantage of. All because we are shrouded from the answers throughout our childhood. As I stroll through my path down the traditional school system, I’ve come to realize a lot. We are definitely not given all the answers, despite the fact that we occasionally think we’ve memorized them all. The only answer we need is in the questions.

CamLam

You can visit and follow Cam’s blog on mindfulness, learning and productivity at camlam.blog, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for reading 🙂

R

Citations

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“Student Voice.” Ontario Ministry of Education, 22 Dec. 2017, http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/students/speakup/preMSAC.html.

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Posted in Why Unlearn?

Unlearn With Us

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Unlearn With Us

Sir Ken Robinson, Peter Gamwell, Angela Duckworth, Alan November, Andy Miah, Adam Schoenbart, George Curous, A.J Juliani, Carol Dweck, Daniel Pink, Elon Musk and more recently Don Wettrick and Nate Green, and schools such as The Independent ProjectBlue Sky School here in Ottawa, The Met School Model and Iowa BIG to name a few, have all inspired me in one way or another that change in education needs to happen and that it is happening.  My journey of “unlearning” began the moment I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”.   I was hooked and continued to seek others in the educational field who have a similar message and I haven’t looked back since.  I started my unlearning journey and just had to take my students with me.  Unlearning is scary and can feel lonely at times.  Often times after teachers are introduced to the big ideas from someone like Sir Ken the general feeling is that it all sounds great, but HOW can we incorporate creativity into an allotted time period, with specific curriculum, all while preparing our students for postsecondary education?   My hope is that this blog will become a place where teachers and students can see the unlearning process.  I plan to share the successes and failures in our unlearning journey to hopefully help others take the risk and be a part of this educational crusade!!  

Please come and unlearn with us!

R

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” — Pablo Picasso