Teaching for Experience

Orientation with wine

Orientation with wine

I cannot believe it has been a week already since attending the workshop, Teaching for Experience.

Teaching for Experience is a project built by and large by the hunches of David Dunbar. It has become an offshoot of CityTerm, a semester long program in which students use NYC to foster dialogue and to create deep and meaningful learning experiences. At the workshop, we focused on the fundamental question: how do we make our classrooms transformational experiences?

Teaching for Experience is for teachers nationwide who wish to facilitate these types of experiences in their own classrooms. The first full day was a whirlwind of activity and set the pace for the rest of the week. The morning and early afternoon was spent with author and teacher Ken Bains. He has conducted years of research on the practices of the best teachers and we created dialogue around his scholarship. In the evening, before dinner, we took a swing dance lesson.This was framed around the notion of collaboration, as well as the idea of working in flow.

Other questions that were explored over the course of the week: what does a grade represent? Is a grade a compilation of previous assessments or does it represent where a student is currently?

How can one be both in the balcony and on the dance floor at once? How do we get our students to be meta-cognitive, to think about how they go about thinking?

Is education about creating and building understanding, as opposed to disseminating content?


It was a remarkably full week. I am left with a head full of ideas as to how to steer my classroom this fall.

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