By Mark Heintz
Aug 14, 2019

How do I develop people as learners?  

That’s a lot harder than I originally thought.

In my mind, a vision is how I will get at the mission, therefore this is my vision (I really wanted to use the title Vision Quest for this post).  I don’t want to spend a lot of time coming up with my mission and not live it every day.  I want actionable steps to fulfill my mission statement. 

I want to ensure that I know what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how I will do it. In the last post, I stated that my mission is to develop learners.  I’m sharing these posts with my students and their guardians so they know the intentions, can add to it, debate me, and we can co-construct this learning experience together.  I’m hoping that they will write on this site as a way to co-construct that learning experience.

“You can’t mandate learning, but you can create the conditions in which people are inspired and empowered to learn.”     — Katie Martin

If my mission is to develop learners, how do I achieve that? How will students know they have developed as learners? 

This is what I will do every day to develop learners.

Here are my answers:

I will give my students time to make decisions on what they want to learn and how to learn it.

I will have them find problems to solve.

I will have them curate their learning.

I will have them name the learning. 

I will have them reflect on what they did and if it helped them learn.

I will provide them with resources from different perspectives and mediums to help all learners access the material. 

I will reflect as often as I can on what we did in class in an attempt to stay focused on developing them as learners and be transparent with my own learning.

My guiding question is still at the forefront of my mind. To what extent can I create classroom conditions that represent how people learn best while still allowing students to excel on the AP examination?  I believe that developing learners who understand how they learn will excel on the AP examination. Students should learn more in these classroom conditions than if I were the one in charge of almost all of the decisions in the classroom like I was in the past.  

There will be days that I will need to spend time going over the test or pushing a part of the curriculum that students should be aware of. However, I want to allow my students who have deep interests in topics to be able to explore those and drive their own learning.  I want my students to find problems for them to solve; as Ewan McIntosh speaks to in his TED talk as a crucial step in the learning process. I want to have the flexibility to adapt to changes going on in the world.  That is why I am spending significant time coming up with my mission and vision. As I walk into every period this year, I want those two things to be central to all my decisions. 





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