Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Creating Symphony

This last week we focused our fishbowl discussions on the “Symphony” chapter of Daniel Pink’s AWNM. We had some very good, in-depth discussions. I have to attribute some of the reasons for our good conversations to introducing our students to a blog post written by Gary Stager who has some serious issues with Daniel Pink’s book and theories. Stager especially disagreed with this chapter on Symphony making for intriguing points of discussion. Most of the students read his blog post and some were able to even live blog with Stager as well. (This makes me think immediately of what a great educational opportunity this has been and continues to be for my students. Here they are in Centennial, CO reading a book from a guy in Washington, DC and will be able to communicate with the author this coming week. They have also been able to read criticism of the book and live blog with the author of the critical review. I am just awe struck for a moment. When does that ever happen in education that we put students in contact with authors and their critics allowing for students to make up their own minds?) So, my greatest reaction to this past week is the fact that my students are confused. Some are still standing by Pink, some are in the middle, and others are in disagreement with Pink. What a great classroom environment! I think the best comment came from a student in my second hour who said, “I don’t know what to think anymore!” Isn’t that what we want in education?

I have to admit after the first couple of blogging sessions I wasn’t sure where my students were going with Pink. They all seemed to be in such agreement with what he said. Because of this, the discussion seemed to be very surface level. This can also be attributed to the fact that it is different discussing non-fiction than the fiction books we have previously read and discussed. Now, we are all over the place in terms of our understandings and connections. I love the differences of opinions. And I also appreciate how willing they are to listen and learn from one another. Although they disagree, they do it in a respectful manner. I don’t know where we are going from here, but I am extremely anxious about this upcoming week and blogging with Mr. Pink. I am wondering if the students will confront Pink with some of their problems in the book (hopefully in a respectful manner) or will they simply revert back to agreement.

So, thanks to those who contributed to our Period 2 discussion Eric Grant, Tim Stahmer, and Renee Howell, and our Period 5 conversation: Judy O'Connell, Christian Long, and Gary Stager.

Feedback from our participants:

Christian's comments

Judy's comments

Gary's comments

Tim's comments

My favorite part of the day was when Mr. Stager informed one of my students that she had won a scholarship:

Gary said...

I love this kid!!! (the one who doesn't like the Pink book)

You win a $15 Gary Stager college scholarship!

I am highly encouraging her to collect.

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