This week I got to watch a lot of great learning. I also listened to teachers worry about both the physical mess in their room and the mental mess in their heads.
Then I went home where I am reading a book on Isaac Newton: The result is that I have discovered Newton’s Three laws of Classroom Dynamics:
- The first law of classroom dynamics: Learning is not Passive:
Students engaged will remain engaged Student being passive will remain passive.
If you want students involved and trying and working on their own learning; don’t ask them to sit and practice sitting
- The second law of classroom dynamics
The acceleration of learning is directly proportional to the positive energy in active participation.
If you are excited to teach the will be excited to learn, no matter the topic.
- The third law of classroom dynamics:
For every chaos you manage there will be and equal and apposing chaos arise.
Learning requires a bit of chaos. Chaos is messy ergo learning is too.
Newton was never a teacher, even when he was a professor at Cambridge both he and his students refused to go to his classes. He knew nothing about learning or kids or teaching… Still feel as though I need give him naming rights to these laws on the nature of learning.
Full disclosure: I was given the opportunity to talk about the connection between STEM and story at a conference in February, so my head is a bit stuck on that.