Creating Opportunities for Purpose in School

I recently had the opportunity to discuss “Innovate Inside the Box” and “The Innovator’s Mindset” on “The Award-Winning Culture podcast by Wildcat Nation.”  I have done several podcasts, but this was one of my favorites because it was led and created by current students.

It was great to talk with the students, but the best part of this podcast was that, in the end, the students debriefed and shared what resonated from our conversation. I was so impressed by this opportunity created by the teachers, but I learned a lot from the students as well. Here is the podcast if you are interested in listening:

If you want to hear on different devices, all of the links are provided here.

This opportunity for the students to have ownership and agency in their learning reminded me of the importance of creating these opportunities, so students see themselves as part of a larger purpose. Of course in education, there will be some moments of “compliance,” but this opportunity for students to lead this podcast initiative, and similar opportunities, reminds me of the importance of students seeing themselves as part of a larger purpose.

From “Innovate Inside the Box“:

Providing empowering learning experiences also increases students’ willingness to endure some of the mundane or “compliant” tasks of education. Think of it this way: When you work for someone who doesn’t care about you as a person, every task seems pointless. The opposite feeling exists, however, when you feel as if you are part of a larger purpose. Even the boring or tedious tasks of school (and life) are made bearable when we feel that we have at least some measure of control. As I mentioned earlier, compliance will always exist in facets of school and life, but when the ultimate focus of education is empowerment, we can do great things within the constraints of school.

Kudos to Hans Appel and team, as well as the many educators out there, for creating opportunities that help students become part of a larger purpose.

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