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What if?

Too many times, I hear "we need to prepare students for the real-world", "test scores and failing helps students be prepared for life"...

But school is the real world for students, they are living their lives right now in our classrooms. So I wonder, how can we help students see themselves as global citizens and provide relevant opportunities for them to think, question, create, and collaborate so that they can tackle the challenges that await them in the 21st century?!

What if we made school more relevant? What if we focused on learning rather than achieving? What if we looked for successes, and gave feedback to help students improve?

I am not sure how test scores, rote-memorization and simply marking something with an X is supporting our learners with the skills they will need in a dangerously changing world, where they will need to think creatively and solve problems that don't yet exist.

The article Challenge-Based Learning: An Approach for Our Time (2009) highlights a pilot project that explores the concept of challenge-based learning. A collaborative learning experience in which teachers and students work together to learn about compelling issues, propose solutions to real problems, and take action. 

The results of the project focus greatly on engagement "kids are clearly engaged when they are allowed to craft creative solutions." but I would argue that they were also empowered. A generation of empowered critical thinkers will be a force to be reckoned with! 

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