My Whole New Mind

I’ve gotten the green light to teach A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink next semester. This is so exciting!

How’s this thing going to work?

Well, it’ll be a high school class taught out of the Technology (=Computing) department. Students will receive credit for a computer elective with this course. The class is one semester long.

The class, like the book is divided into 6 sections, focusing on each of the Six Senses Pink says are going to be essential:

  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning

A Design NotebookOur work will be based on the portfolio activities that Pink includes after each chapter. The portfolios are the strength of the book, in my opinion. The very first activity caught my imagination: after describing Design and telling a number of stories, Pink then suggests readers keep a design notebook where they write down outstanding (and horrible) examples of design.

Design Notebooks 2.0
My class will keep a design notebook. Pink says:

Buy a small notebook and begin carrying it with you wherever you go. When you see great design, make a note of it. Do the same for flawed design. Before long, you’ll be looking at graphics, interiors, environments, and much more with greater acuity. And you’ll understand in a deeper way how design decisions shaper our everyday lives.

I’m expanding the concept to use the web. Here are the exciting possibilities I see:

  • Capture the designs with cameraphones or digital cameras. Post to a flickr photo pool.
  • Narrate the designs using VoiceThread.
  • Gather everyone’s designs on a Wikispace, so the students can see and comment on classmates’ design notes.

I’ve found a dozen more great ideas in Dan Pink’s other portfolios.

And In Personal News

I’ve gotten word that I’m accepted into a Masters program at Georgia State! After looking at all the ways I might become certified to teach, I decided on a program GSU offers called TEEMS After Dark. It’s a night program during the school year, so I can continue to teach.

Call me a nerd, but these courses caught my eye based solely on the title:

  • EDMT 6560 Principles of Mathematics Instruction (3)
  • EPY 7080 The Psychology of Learning and Learners (3)
  • IT 7360 Integrating Technology in School-Based Learning Environments (3)

I wasn’t really surprised that there’s no “Keeping a Gradebook” or “Principles of Lunch Duty” offered but dont’cha think they’d make great classes? (I’m about 80% serious here…) I always imagined that teachers had studied that sort of material in college. When I started teaching 3 years ago, I was forever asking the other teachers if they learned this skill or that in their education majors. The answer was always a disappointing, “no”.

Classes start in January.

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Image Citation:
Tim Boyd, “Moleskin Macro.” Dyobmit’s Photostream. 9 Jun 2007. 11 Dec 2007 .

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4 thoughts on “My Whole New Mind

  1. This sounds exciting. I am looking forward to hearing more about how its going! Good luck!

  2. Congratulations! I suppose that the educational theory that I learned in my ed program was helpful. It certainly has helped me pass standardized tests that I have had to take to get a credential in different states that I have moved to (Hawaii and Texas). However, it was pretty unrelated to what happens every day in the classroom. I remember spending hours writing a lesson plan and trying to figure out the difference between a goal and an objective. Again, I suppose that is all good stuff, but once you get in the classroom there is not a lot of time for that and there are SO many other things that become important (relationships with kids and parents and school leadership, management, grading, etc…). You are ahead of most people because you have learned those things on the job!

  3. @Angela: I’ll keep you posted!

    @Janice: I don’t really expect much help on the day-to-day classroom management aspects of my job. It would be nice, though, wouldn’t it? I’m amazed that my program in Secondary Math doesn’t obviously include any courses about teaching math. Sure, I take a bunch of math classes. And even more educational theory classes. But, where are the “teaching high school algebra” or “theories in math curricula”?

  4. Pingback: Awesome Final Projects in Tech & Civ « Megan Golding

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