I have a growing list of inspiring books I have read over the past couple years related to innovative approaches in education. I will attach a list of these books at the bottom of this post, but today I want to focus on an analogy discussed in my most recent read, Empower, written by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. Allow me to talk about another favorite topic of mine, ice cream!
If you have trouble satisfying your sweet tooth, Baskin Robbins offers thirty-one different flavors for you to choose from. And they rotate by the month, so it is impossible to know just how many flavors truly exist. The choice offered in your ice cream selection is a great way to involve you in the decision-making of your sweet adventures.
However, perhaps you have a craving for a unique mixture of flavors and toppings that has not yet been invented. In this case, it would behoove you to drive to your closest Cold Stone Creamery, as you can order any combination of flavors and toppings your little heart desires. Here, you have ownership of your ice cream selection.
Furthermore, if you pop into your local fro-yo place (Cherry Berry, Orange Leaf, etc.), it is here that YOU get to CREATE your own concoction! You make every decision from start to finish. You walk around and not only select which flavors and toppings you want, but you determine how much of each to add. You do the scooping and the pouring and the sprinkling. You own the ENTIRE process.
“When students own both the content and the process, they shift into the fro-yo model. Here they decide what they want to learn by doing it themselves. They select the exact amount of yogurt they need and they focus on toppings they think are both interesting and necessary. The teacher is still present as an advisor and an architect of the master system; however, students are working in a self-directed way.”
Powerful comparison that affirms the actions made within the ARCTIC Zone so far and challenges me to stretch my thinking even further. “What decisions am I making for students that they could make for themselves?”