How do you encourage a learning community to strive for excellence? That was today’s challenge, with a roomful of energetic Eagles back from Christmas Break.
We opened the day debating whether our overarching goal this session should be Excellence or Mastery? Excellence won the day, based on the Eagle’s logic that the practice of Excellence must precede Mastery.
So Excellence became the “word of the session,” with signatures as a sign of commitment.
We continued with a review of the spring session, which will include a Crime Solving project and a reenactment of the Salem Witch Trial.
Silent Core Skills time began with Eagles setting long term Khan goals, including mastering the last of the basic math skill sets, before individual Eagles will be asked to choose whether to dive deeply into Algebra, Geometry or Trigonometry in a few weeks.
We followed with a Socratic Discussion about how you decide what book to read next. Should the decision be based on ”fun” or some other criteria? Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? A focus on the time period we’ll cover in History this spring (1600 to 1776); a scientific subject we’ll explore in projects like DNA or genetics or psychology? Improving a skill like writing or speech making? Or perhaps going deep into a biography of a hero.
Eagles get to choose what they read, but we want them to choose wisely.
Just before lunch we unveiled this spring’s plan for securing an apprenticeship in April, and how Mind Maps might encourage some new paths or people who can help.
Then after lunch, the launch of our newest project, using science to solve crimes, complete with a real crime scene.
How do you encourage a learning community to strive for excellence? Paint a vision of an exciting journey. Offer choices. Insist on clarity.
No guarantees, but a good start.