The 21st-century opens up the pandora’s box to crazy classroom ideas. Despite the fact that the education system still revolves around traditionalist ideals, some out-of-this-world thoughts could be worth trying.
Around the world, teachers are constantly searching for ways to innovate in order to keep the students engaged. Although a lot of these cool and creative practices have been circulating on the internet, there are still some that haven’t got through the mainstream.
Generally, the craziest ideas that have turned around schools are those that have something to do with the existing technology. Education has continuously been embracing technology and all its promises.
Nowadays, there is always an app or a software for any classroom activity. For example, Kahoot makes educational games more creative and competitive. Edmodo allows connectivity and productivity. Whereas, Padlet makes collaborative discussions more interesting and surprising due to anonymity.
However, crazy classroom ideas are not just all about maximizing technology. Craziness could be something beyond extraordinary, non-traditional, or even provocative.
Crazy classroom of games
What if we dedicate 80% of classroom time to playing games?
Some pedagogical traditionalists would say that there needs to be a balance between student talk time and teacher talk time. On the other hand, progressivists may argue for longer student talk time.
By following this progressivist thinking, why not replace the talk time with game time?
Games help develop multiple learning skills depending on its focus and approach. A clear example of this is how PE teachers help students learn a particular sport. They spend more time in the gym than in the classroom to learn to play basketball. Thus, they acquire the skills by playing the sport most of the time.
Can we apply this in other classes? Yes, of course.
For an instance, students may play with word games or board games like Scrabble or Taboo, which takes at least 30 minutes, to improve vocabulary. Classroom competitive math quiz games can replace the usual classroom drills.
However, traditionalists will always say ‘nay’ to this idea, for they are still in the mindset of having more teacher talk time as an effective way fo teaching.
The power of choice
Most of the time, or even all the time, teachers decide what to teach. If not the teachers, the principals or districts do so.
Who are the ones learning? Is it the teachers or students? Then, why not let the students decide what they want to learn?
Certainly, in a natural world, human beings thrive when they live according to their free will. Likewise, if schools help the students in developing capabilities to exercise their free will, things might change.
Progressivist countries like Finland have already started giving the kids more liberty by converting strict study time to play time. In addition, some private schools in the US and Germany try a new concept of allowing students to choose their subjects.
On the contrary, the world is still under the mercy of exams. Standardized exams chain students and systems.
Instead of allowing the freedom of choice, school systems teach what board exams want.
Naturally, human beings do well when doing things according to their choice. We enjoy the food we like to eat. Teachers perform well in their field of expertise. Students study for their favorite subject.
Why can’t students study what they want?
Don’t teach at all!
Here’s the craziest idea of them all. Just don’t teach.
The iPad can make kids hooked for ages. YouTube has all the lectures. Google knows more than even the best teacher you have.
Students do not need teachers. They need life coaches.
With all these, teachers should step up and do more than regurgitating what students can find online. Moreover, teachers should stop acting like iPads and harbor technology as a go-to when it comes to taming students.
Teachers must strive to be LIFE COACHES. As a life coach, an English teacher won’t just talk about Shakespeare, but about the value of love. A maths teacher will never scare any student in Algebra with all the big numbers but use arithmetics in earning money selling lemonade.
As a final thought, these crazy classroom ideas still don’t go beyond the boundaries of insanity. We don’t expect the teachers to teach naked or students to go berserk. Sometimes, we just need craziness to change an old system.