I’ve got some thoughts and ramblings in the works on two articles I’ve read this week that have rocked my world: “Edification by Puzzlement” (I cannot overpraise this article–I feel it will be of critical importance to all my work moving forward, and I’m very grateful to Nathan for suggesting it to me) and “We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education” (Mind, Brain, and Education 1:1). I also have a post in the works about an Australian blogger named David Jones whom I’ve learned a great deal from lately in a most wonderful distributed conversation. Alas, there’s no time to get it all down just now. But I did want to share a small continuation (and instance) of the framing/nudging idea I’m working on.
Three years ago I had an idea for a self-scoring checklist I called “APGAR for Class Meetings.” As I’ve developed the idea and tried it out in various classes, I’ve decided that the presentation of the checklist at the beginning of class is very important for framing the device not as a scold or a panopticonish surveillance but as a bit of helpful cognitive feedback that hopefully students will begin to incorporate into their own self-directed learning. Thus I presented the checklist as a PowerPoint slide with Dr. Apgar’s image at the top and the questions below. My hope was that the photograph would personalize and humanize the checklist and thus frame the self-scoring positively. The photograph is wonderful, I think, in conveying the kindness, determination, and keen intelligence that her friends and associates say characterized Dr. Apgar’s personality and work. In truth, I wanted to enlist the spirit of Dr. Apgar, as an innovator, scientist, physician, mentor, and altruist, as one patron of the classes I teach. A frame for my expectations, and for my hopes, hopes I hope my students will share. A trust that we can achieve breakthroughs if we are of a mind to do so.
So now I’ve put the slide on Slideshare. If you decide to try this approach or something like it with your students, please let me know how it works out. I’d love to learn from you.
Viva Dr. Apgar!