“The worst mistake anyone can make is being afraid to make one!”

UNKNOWN

Almost ten years ago in his popular TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson raised the powerful question do schools kill creativity? This question resonated among many in our profession and since the question was raised, we have seen many new pedagogies emerge such as the socratic seminar, genius hour and makerspaces. The new approaches to teaching provide students with time to develop their creativity while solving problems and learning that it is ok to make mistakes. In addition to this when students learn that things do not always work out the way we plan they begin to develop grit and resiliency which are skills students need for life beyond the classroom.

ken_robinson_TED

Ten years may seem like a long time however, if we reflect on what has occurred during this time the reality is with the aid of the internet, rapid progress has been made to address the issues raised in Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk. We still have a long way to go but the collaboration among connected educators across the globe has lead to the sharing of knowledge and new understandings about the art and science of our profession, especially within areas of learning we often find challenging.    

Aussie Phys Ed

To highlight this we can look at the modern approaches to Physical Education that have been shared with the world by the #aussiePhysEd team lead by Andy Hair, Arron Gardiner, Sean deMorton and Daniel Zito. Their network started out as 4 teachers having conversations about best practices in PE. This network has grown to more than 50 Physical Education teachers who dare to dream big and more importantly, make these dreams become realities.

Blog pic 3

The #aussiePhysEd team have developed an innovation up there with genius hour and makerspace which is GPS-Fitness Art. GPS-Fitness Art is a simple concept where students are provided a map of an open space within the school. Students draw a simple image on the map trying to use as much of the space as possible. The second stage of GPS-Fitness Art is to step outside of the classroom and make the image on the map come to life using a GPS Fitness tracking app (Strava, MapMyRun or Runkeeper) to digitally reproduce the paper image. This new approach to Physical Education not only gets kids active but it also allows students to show their creative side while solving problems after making mistakes; which we have already pointed out is a good thing. If GPS-Fitness Art has captured your attention check out Brett Sinnett’s GPS Fitness Art Facebook page or connect with the #aussiePhysEd team via their website.  

Fitness Art

Image created by Christina Polatajko’s Year 5 Superstars

At the end of the day, parents send their children to our schools with the hope that we will give them a future. Most parents want their children to have more than they have so when we strive to provide students with time to develop their creativity, we are not only responding to the challenges raised by Sir Ken Robinson 10 years ago, we are in fact preparing students for life beyond the classroom.