“8 Big Ideas” from Gary Stager

As I write my new course for next school year (“MakeIT: A workshop for young makers”) I am looking for excellent resources to guide my own thoughts about student creativity and learning. Gary Stager, who was a keynote speaker at the school’s laptop conference, continues to provide me with highly nutritious food-for-thought.

This list of ideas (written by Seymour Papert by also part of Stager’s 2007 dissertation) is just what I need to frame the course and provide answers to the “What are we doing?” questions that this course will generate. My favorite idea for my students is “hard fun”, the idea that we learn more and actually enjoy learning more when it is enjoyable and challenging. This idea is already built into the Scratch projects in my 8th grade class and I like the idea of the young makers in 6th grade learning in a challenging environment, too.

(By the way, my fav idea for teachers is “do unto ourselves what we do unto our students.” These courses wouldn’t work if I wasn’t right in there demonstrating my own skills and continuing to learn new things with the kids each quarter.)


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