How to design meaningful learning – back to the start

1:  Narrative:

People often learn stuff through narrative, they recall stories and then construct extra less easily recalled knowledge off the main pathway of the story.  You need to be a story writer and a story teller.

2: Destination Matters:

Don’t hide information from the learner, if they know the destination, the intended outcome, then they are likely to partner with you and work with you to reach the destination.  Work backwards from what you want the students to achieve.

3: Co-construction beats delivery to:

If you develop the project with the students and enable them to have some influence on its direction, however limited, then they will buy into the whole thing and you will have less issues to “manage”.

4: Become a salesman:

If Peugeot can sell cars of unspeakable ugliness to the unsuspecting public, then it is possible to sell the knowledge and skills to the students.  think about the “hook”, what’s the point?

5: Behaviour – Call their Bluff:

You don’t have time to build a relationship to manage all their behaviour.  Use “I messages” and “call my bluff”. Plan in time to talk.

6: Don’t Assume Anything:

Don’t assume the students will know anything, have a plan B.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Try to consider what it is reasonable to know and what is part of your “cultural literacy”.

7: Build a treasure hunt:

Plan a breadcrumb trail of information and ideas and allow the students make key discoveries themselves.

8: Ask decent questions:

Avoid the selfish urge to ask questions so that students will give you the right answer.  Ask forensic questions, that bring the breadcrumbs to the surface for the students, then give them time and space to consider and construct an answer. nDon’t be afraid of silence.

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