Make a Mess! ( . . . with Learning)


Submitted a year ago
Created by
Brad Choyt
Students need messy problems. These are not the same problems or materials that have been solved or examined by hundreds of students before them. These are problems that are unique to what individual students are wondering and have their roots in big, complex concepts and questions that are important to them today.

Because there is so much information readily available to students, teachers should employ strategies that inspire students to go beyond the standard answers and develop their own understanding, progressing the curriculum and in a real sense, adding value to classroom explorations. Teachers who are comfortable with messy learning may not only enjoy deeper student engagement but also benefit from the answers they’ve never heard before. Students engaged in messy learning may even influence what is taught next.

Teachers who bring this approach to their teaching will tell you that what may be lost in control of the content delivery is gained by the momentum of learning new things. Yes, it may be more difficult to predict the learning outcomes and how those will be evaluated at the end of units of study. But the benefits for everyone involved will be well worth the messy process. 
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