Empowering Students to Leave a Legacy

How can we create the desire to inquire? That is a hard issue to grapple with (and worthy of much inquiry by educators), but I’m sure that: 1) it’s not grades, and 2) there’s no silver bullet to get students motivated to dig deeper and extend their own learning.  However, I think one great way to create deep motivation for some learners is encouraging them to leave a legacy.
Mathtrain.tv a site “for kids, by kids” is one example of students leaving a legacy.  Teacher Eric Marcos has his students create and upload math tutorial videos to teach other students.
The true beauty of Mathtrain.tv though, is not so much the videos to replace your own teaching, as it is the idea of empowering students to teach their peers.  Alan November’s TEDxNYED Talk (well worth the watch if you haven’t seen it) highlights the importance of students leaving a legacy, and he uses Mathtrain.tv as a great example of this.
If we live in a collaborative world, why do we often wait until the work environment before we learn from others?  Why do teachers fight the system, or more likely just ignore it? Who knows, but I sure think Alan November and Eric Marcos have something worth listening to.  Never underestimate the power of a motivated student.  Personally, I’m committed to tapping into that motivation, even if it means sacrificing my own ideas about how something should be taught.
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7 Responses to Empowering Students to Leave a Legacy

  1. tsheko says:

    Vital questions. Thank you for the post. I would love to see a swing in the direction of student-created shared learning.


  2. brianneises says:

    Student-created shared learning is a great idea! Isn’t that what all research at the cutting edges of knowledge really is? Learners taking ideas, creating new ideas and sharing it! We need to facilitate that process as often as possible.

    I wonder if our issues with guiding inquiry, is that we ourselves are not always reflective enough on our own process of inquiry, and therefore do not understand it well enough to teach it ourselves!?


  3. Pam Thompson says:

    I think you make a good point Brian. I do believe that many of us don’t reflect enough on our own practice and probably are not terribly adept at inquiry ourselves. However, surely it is our duty as educators to explore these avenues and give our students the best possible chance to experience successful inquiry and learning.


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