Guilty myself of always referring to thinking inside and outside the box
I am now laying down a new law for myself and will police the space inside of my head and thoughts to ensure that I never use the phrase 'thinking inside or outside the box' again when it comes to the learning of my students or my own learning. It kind of struck me on the head when I was taking part in a #nbtchat on Twitter this morning.
In the workshops that I lead when training PE teachers to deepen their practice, I always make reference to the importance of thinking both inside and outside of the box of physical education when designing the learning experiences they have their students engage in. This is a slide from a keynote that I have used in my last few workshops to emphasize the point that to be the best that we can be as physical educators, we must think both inside and outside the box of PE.
As I said, I was struck with the thought this morning that this type of thinking is now wrong, at least in my opinion it is. When taking part in the #nbtchat, I saw the following tweet that was sent out by Dr. Matt Parker, a high school administrator from Waynesville High School in Missouri. I think that Matt brought up an extremely valid point and I completely agree that there is a need for flexibility and to constantly be willing to change things up when teaching and learning in order to be the best learners we can be.
However, as educators, I feel that we should no longer use or refer to there being a box at all when it comes to thinking and learning. Simply put, the box reference to me implies that there are limits and constraints to our learning, which should never be the case. This was the tweet that I sent in response to Matt's. I was not trying to challenge Matt but to state my reflective point of view on the subject.
As I said earlier in this blog post, I always referred to this box in the workshops that I have led in the past, but I will no longer do this. As educators, our ultimate goal should be to develop students who have nothing but open roads in which to navigate where their learning journeys will take them. This requires subject area boundary lines to be blurred at minimum or removed all together as learning should be very transdisciplinary in nature without any reference to limits at all. So I am doing away with the phrase thinking inside and outside the box from now on. No more boxes, no more limits on learning, especially when it comes to our own learning! Would love to hear your thoughts.