Thank you Jill Fisch at My Primary Passion for hosting this week's #CyberPD conversation about Peter Johnston's book, Opening Minds.
I made a couple of connections to the section titled, Uncertainty, Inquiry, and Meaning Making (p. 59). "Most conversations about school work from the assumption that a curriculum is a bunch of certain facts to be efficiently delivered to the students, and that a teacher's problem is to deliver the true facts so that they stick, are well organized, and can be assessed" (p. 59). When thinking about this quote, my mind immediately began thinking about the current testing climate in schools. I feel like as long as student learning is based on a test, then to some degree "teaching to the test" is going to take place. In doing so, often times teachers are delivering facts only for the test and to improve test scores, not for the good of students.
A second connection I had to the section came from the following quotes, "The unfortunate problem with facts is they are generally inert and thus uninteresting" (p. 59). "it's true we find unusual facts interesting...."(p. 59) "But the reason these facts are interesting is that they raise so many new questions" (p. 59). I began thinking about Wonderopolis. Kids seem to be naturally drawn to the website and remember so many facts, because the Wonders posed are of high interest to them. I then thought about many of the great discussions we had last year after reading over the Wonders. The discussions were usually centered around questions the students had about the Wonders. Often times while reading over the Wonder, students would blurt out new questions and wonders.
On a side note, I have downloaded Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success to my Kindle. It is a great companion to Opening Minds.