Apart from the students and teachers in my school and of course my family and friend circle, I would like to share my top 5 “champions” when it comes to inspiring my work 🙂
Dr Gattegno (1911–1988) was a precursor of students’ voice and choice. He developed tools that facilitate visible and tangible learning to help reach every learner. He has created a Science of Education (Subordination teaching to learning) and explains how we learn. In particular, I use the Silent Way approach that he invented. This is a way to teach foreign languages without providing a model. His approach is so relevant even today, he should be given more credit and should be more widely known for his innovative ideas and for changing the lives of so many educators and learners.
Dr Mitra keeps blowing my mind with simple but not simplistic ideas about self-learning and the role of the teacher in the 21st Century. He has a lot in common with Gattegno because he “lets” students learn and reflects on the “teaching”. He says that knowing (but not KNOWLEDGE) will become obsolete! A disruptor and great thinker pushing the boundaries of schools towards learning! I am honored to have met him in real life.
I love Daniel Pink’s book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. It is another conection to Gattegno’s approach. Gattegno’s concept of “presence” and Pink’s concept of “intrinsic motivation” merge. I am a believer that, in education and in the world of work, we should not develop extrinsic motivation (definitely not punishment! but also NO REWARD) as it creates the wrong environment for learning. Of course, in certain context, we need extrinsic motivation (sport competition, prizes and awards) but those are in the context of not rewarding the person but rewarding the action of the person and the actions were driven by intrinsic motivation.
“Woj” as she likes to be called, has written the book Moonshot in Education with Lance Izumi. She inspired me to think of radical solutions and constantly push my limits. I like to make back and forth trips between thinking and doing. This book is inspiring and makes you take action too. It’s honest and brings in a lot of practical ideas to try, especially for integration technology.
Jennie has been an inspiration with her Ted Talk about “Power to the pupil” and all other online sessions I watched of hers with Google and EdTechTeam and her sessions and keynotes. She is absolutely full of positive energy, she generously gives ideas and has an honest experience of working in the public school system and shows that it’s not about the money you have got, but about the mindset and innovation you bring in. It’s been a delight to also meet her and learn from her at several occasions.