Taking Ownership of Their Learning

The field of brain research has discovered that the more intensely we study a problem, the duller our brains become and that we are unable to supercharge our creative capacities until our mind reaches a more relax state.  As a result, each week employees at companies such as 3M and Google devote the equivalent of an entire workday to taking breaks and chasing speculative pursuits.  Inspired by these creative corporate strategies, some teachers are starting to do the same thing.  For roughly an hour a week, they turn over control to their students and let them explore a topic of their choosing.  “Students love the freedom to explore what they are passionate about instead of doing the work they are assigned by the teacher,” reports Nicholas Provenzaro, an English teacher at Grosse Point South High School and Michigan.  “That freedom is what motivates them to uncover big ideas and take ownership of their learning.

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