Open-Ended Learning Happening NOW

8.26.2020 Debby Kinman-Ford

Chaos! It’s all chaos!!! Is there school? When is school? Where is school? What will school look like? Who is my teacher? Do I want to teach virtually or in person? How will parents flex and change their work demands to accommodate their children’s learning needs? It’s a mess out there and there is no denying it.

HOWEVER….This is the ultimate open-ended learning experience as families decide what will work for their child and their family. Like most open-ended learning, there is not a right or wrong answer for anyone, there is only the right answer for their house. And whether you are a teacher or student, looking at the materials in front of you and finding a solution, then adapting when and if it doesn’t work, is exactly what we want children to learn when they do open-ended STEM activities. Further, this situation requires teamwork. Parents working together adjusting budgets, schedules, designing rooms in their house and who knows what else. Teachers often being asked to work with students in ways they are not proficient at. Then underlining all of this- safety. If this isn’t open-ended learning, I don’t know what is!

Share this real life application with your children/students. It is an amazing time which will teach valuable lessons like adaptability, resilience and cohesiveness. It’s crazy stressful but don’t most of us function fine when things are calm. Its our ability to wade through crisis and turmoil that helps us apply the problem solving strategies we work so hard to teach our children. Well this is it! All the time we spend talking about thinking outside the box and being a critical thinker is right in front of us. Embrace the chaos and explore your possibilities – together! We got this!!!

1 thought on “Open-Ended Learning Happening NOW”

  1. It’s a wonderful safe way for children to take risks and to try new things knowing it’s okay to not have to have everything perfectly planned out. This is how we find new directions and ideas. And in the end it leaves us feeling so proud of ourselves, believing we could make it happen and work:

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