Remember how you couldn’t wait each day to "Teach to the Test"? No? Neither do I. Teaching to the Test bores students and frustrates teachers. It also virtually eliminates the opportunity for having teachable moments. A teachable moment is that wonderful time when the student wants to learn what the teacher wants to teach. Good teachers know how to recognize those moments and take advantage of them. Great teachers know how to create them. Great schools give their teachers the freedom and authority to create them. Emaginos schools provide the tools and teacher empowerment needed to fill each school day with teachable moments that constantly challenge, inspire, and support students.
“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” ~~ George Bernard Shaw
Schools that mandate teaching to the test are examples of knowledge in pursuit of the child. Emaginos Discovery and Learning schools customize learning for every student, motivating, allowing, and enabling students to pursue knowledge that interests them. The knowledge that interests them as a young child, like trains or frogs, may not be of use to them as an adult, but neither are the limits of a parabola or the Battle of Hastings. However, a student who is interested in frogs may be guided to learn about the science of the biomes in which frogs live and how global warming is impacting the habitats of frogs. With every student-centered learning activity like this, the teachable moment demonstrates how to learn and use information when and how the student needs it, so students gradually become independent learners. Along the way, the teacher has guided the student’s curiosity to include content that the academic standards have identified as valuable knowledge. Who knew that a student’s interest in learning about frogs could open the door to learning about the political and business issues of climate change?
COVID-19 has created a teachable moment for Emaginos. Social distancing forced K-12 education leaders to adopt new ways for teachers to teach and students to learn. Serendipitously, Emaginos has built a Discovery and Learning system that transforms schools using a model that perfectly meets the demands the pandemic exposed. COVID did not create the needs. They were already there, hidden beneath decades of traditional educational pedagogy. The Emaginos model was an idea in search of its time.
An idea before its time must wait, for no one is crazy enough to grasp it… at the moment.
And an idea whose time has passed must hope for a future in which it’ll be needed again.
But an idea whose time has come is a force. It changes the world. It alters reality. It’s unstoppable!
There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885)
It is why I, a 40+-year educator, co-founded Emaginos. Emaginos is leveraging a teachable moment for K-12 public education – the time when the desire to learn meets the need to teach. Momentum is building nationwide to reduce or eliminate standardized testing in K-12 public education. Emaginos provides you, as an educator, with an opportunity to become part of this initiative to:
· Transform our classrooms from centers of passive listening to hubs of active learning.
· Transition from teaching to the test to teachable moments.
· Change from district administrative-controlled schools to teacher-managed schools.
· Evolve from individual learning to team learning.
· Change teacher-centered classrooms into student-centered classrooms.
· Transition from using outdated and unreliable technology to utilizing state-of-the-art technology.
The first task is to simply adopt or adapt some of the proven best practices in your classroom. This graphic on our website lists many of them but by no means all of them. Examine your classroom and identify something you would like to improve. (You might enjoy collaborating with another teacher as you do this.) Then do some research to find a proven best practice that has the potential to make your classroom better. Then adopt or adapt it.
Second, go to the Emaginos.com website and click on "Invest" to accomplish two things:
1. Help transform public education.
2. Potentially earn monetary returns on your investment.
And now, I am reaching out to you as a fellow educator to invite you to be part of this exciting initiative to forever eliminate "Teaching to the Test." It’s a chance to become involved as an investor and to try some of the innovative best practices that the Emaginos model is built upon in your classroom. Let me close with some 2,500-year-old wisdom from Confucius:
“I hear and I forget." (Teaching to the test is mostly hearing and forgetting.)
"I see and I remember." (Individuals using textbooks or handheld digital devices are largely seeing and remembering.)
"I do and I understand.” (Working on a multidisciplinary project as a member of a learning team is doing and understanding.)
Students in an Emaginos school spend their time doing and understanding.