A few nights ago I was reading to my son, Aidan. Part way through the chapter we had the following conversation:
Aidan: My schema popped!!
Me (hoping that my understanding of schema matches his so I don’t look like an idiot): What do you mean Aid?
Aidan: My schema just popped! I am making a text to text connection. This reminds me of what happened in the last book – remember? (He jumps up and finds the previous novel).
Me (relieved and intrigued): Wow, that’s great bud! I love it when that happens.
Aidan: What does it feel like when your schema pops Mum?
Me: Kind of like my hair is standing a little higher on my head. What about you?
Aidan: Kind of like my belly’s full of jelly, a little wobbly.
And that was the end of the conversation. It stuck with me and we’ve had a number of other schema popping incidents from both boys.
I am currently doing an online PD course with the IB, called Teacher as Researcher. One of our first assignments is to document our professional learning journeys. In trying to decide how and what to document, I remembered this conversation and thought of all the times my schema popped in my career and how powerfully those experiences affected me and my career path.
In re-living my experiences, I find it interesting that they are all classroom based.
So, I am going to count down the 5 most powerful schema popping moments of my career (to date). In recounting them, I will explain how they shifted my understanding of:
– my role as a teacher, and/or
– the role of the environment, and/or
– the capabilities of learners.