Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interest-Driven Learning

Once again, the power of being connected to other teachers just amazes me.

My head is spinning again today. Less than a week ago, a tweet went out with the following page from Connected Learning: What Does "Interest-Driven" Look Like? The question posed: How can educators - in school and out - support youth to pursue and document the ideas that matter to them, while simultaneously helping them to use a critical lens?

Here is the Google HangOut, if you'd like to listen during your lunch hour, like I did...

Watch live streaming video from connectedlearningtv at

I didn't know the contributors before it started. See the link above for their full descriptions, but here are their names:
   Paul Oh
   Mimi Ito
   Nicole Mirra
   Paul Allison
   Stephanie West-Puckett

I cannot put my thoughts into cohesive sentences like they can. I loved listening to them describe the difference between interests and passions. I loved how they shared stories of how students can flourish in an environment where they know their ideas matter. One of them (Stephanie?) talked about a book she was reading again, and she mentioned these four things that will aid interest-driven learning:

I believe we all need to keep these in mind, whether we are trying Genius Hour / Passion Projects / Inquiry-Based Learning / or just trying to give students more ownership in their learning.

Of course, how can you make this day of learning any better? Have a chat on Twitter about this very thing! They wanted to continue the discussion, so I followed #literacies at noon today. I am fortunate to have been able to participate. If you missed it, here is the transcript of the #literacies session, moderated by Emily Pendergrass:

1 comment:

  1. It really is remarkable that Connected Learning is conducting this series at the same time as the 20%Time MOOC. They are providing the psychological & sociological research foundation we need to show admins & parents in support of the practices we know are of most benefit to learning!