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Title:
This I Believe - Forever Beta Essay
Subject:
Professional Development
Grade:
Any
Time Frame:
30 minutes to a lifetime
- or -
6 sessions of 90 minutes each if you complete the Lifelong Learners Curriculum (PDF)
Summary:
This activity is designed as a culminating activity to push teachers to articulate their beliefs about teaching, learning, school, students, etc. It is not designed to produce an actual essay, just the source material for an essay. Later, it can serve as a reflection prompt as teachers look back at the changes they have made in their classrooms. Ideally, teachers would use the affordance of a wiki to edit it on an as needed basis.
Tasks:
  1. Create a new wiki page and take some notes on the following question, When you were a student, what did you believe about learning, school, your classmates, and your teachers. How have your beliefs changed throughout your career? Save the page.
  2. Take a few minutes to read other participants' notes. Feel free to use the comment/discussion feature to compare notes.
  3. Listen/read/watch a set of This I Believe "essays" from teachers, students, and others.
  4. Reflect on your best learning experiences as a student and as a teacher. On the wiki page, above your previous answer, make a list of the elements that made those experiences so successful/meaningful. Save the page. Feel free to use the comment/discussion feature to compare notes. Also feel free to navigate back to your page and add ideas from others that fit your ethos.
  5. Read Paula Dinga's This I Believe
  6. Draft your own list - "Though a This I Believe essay is NOT a list of everything one believes in, it may be helpful to start with a list of things one does believe in. Spend 25 minutes making a list of things you believe. What story might you tell from your personal experience that relates to each of those beliefs?
  7. Extension - Write and submit an essay - for ideas on how to further process your thoughts into an essay, check out the Lifelong Learners Curriculum, especially weeks 5 and 6.
Objectives:
  • Help teachers articulate their beliefs about teaching, learning, school, students, etc.
  • Provide a piece that can be used for ongoing reflection throughout a PLC
Assessment:
N/A
Resources:
Examples:



Discussion:

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