Creativity, open-mindedness and thinking outside the box are things that are hard to teach. With the correct projects, environment and teacher support I think that these are skills students can and should learn in the classroom. In this article I found using Feedly it talks about one example of ways to teach students to be more visionary. The breakdown of the suggested projects sound very similar to an art class I took here at Illinois.
Writing with video was an extremely unique class. We met for almost 3 hours twice a week and was centered around using technology to create videos. I almost dropped the class. And am I ever grateful that I didn’t! This class forced me to look into something that interested me but that I didn’t know a lot about. For one project we had to pick an interest or idea that we were curious about and interview people we didn’t know well about this new topic. For our large final project we were expected to look at ourselves and our own beliefs and make a video exploring one of them. This really stretched us all to think outside of the box. Different from the article, each project was individual but we had to screen them in front of the class and sit up front to receive critique on our project. This held us accountable to do our best work and really allowed us to see how other students could be so different and unique but that no one was ever “wrong.” I feel I have learned more skills in that class that will help me in the future than any other class I have previously taken. Because I was challenged to look at myself and others in a different way I learned more than the skills taught in the class.
And isn’t that the goal? I don’t want to make my students little robots who can spit out fact after fact. I want them to take what they know and use the skills they have to apply it outside the classroom. I don’t think you can teach a student to be visionary, you have to encourage them to be. You need to provide opportunities to show them what else is out there in the world. Students’ self-concept and view of the world should be explore more often in schools and should be combined with the academic lessons. It seems very ideal, and very visionary to think this because when it comes down too it there is just so much material to cover in schools. There has to be a way to integrate these personal learning opportunities into academics. Students should be encouraged to learn about themselves and the world around them just as the article mentions. This idea may seem too idealistic but teaching students helpful skills is something I find equally important to the academic curriculum.