Pushing the Pendulum BACK

I created a SketchNote to demonstrate the main points of the podcast titled “Questioning Learning.” The coordinator of the podcast, Chris Friend, had special guest Amy Collier to explain her thoughts on how education is viewed and how to challenge the norms. The title of my SketchNote, “The Push for Critical Pedagogy,” refers to the image of Amy Collier pushing the pendulum back to the other side of the page. In the podcast, Amy describes that the pendulum has been pushed by the restrictive education system and we need to PUSH BACK in order to have critical pedagogy.

On the left side of my SketchNote you will see cooler colours and a noticeable difference in structure to the right side. The left looks like it was built from building blocks that could be found in a kindergarten classroom. This is to show how structured and confined the learnification pedagogy is for students and teachers. There is no room for interpretation or to think outside of the boxes. The image of the cannon demonstrates all of the information being shot at students, which is then required to be memorized. There is no creativity or encouragement to question the world. I chose to draw the left side of the paper as if it could be found in the teaching curriculum. The learning outcome tells you exactly what you will end up with if you follow the steps. The following steps do not promote critical thinking, curiosity, risk, etc. To the left of the building blocks you will see a picture of a student’s thought bubble being manipulated by a teacher with puppet strings. Teachers are telling students how to think. The conveyer belt at the bottom shows the end products from following the instructions–robots. The students are being taught to think the exact same and this is very dangerous to our society. School is becoming a factory, which I tried to represent here. Society needs unique, critical thinkers in order thrive.

On the right side of my SketchNote, you will see bright, happy colours. I decided to create this side of the SketchNote to represent a road. In the podcast, Amy suggests that learning outcomes can act like a road map for students, and they aren’t always negative. The right side of my SketchNote almost looks like it is under construction with the yellows, oranges, and reds–which is exactly how I think learning outcomes should be thought of. As I wrote on the bottom, the road of learning and understanding is never complete. We will be learning our entire lives and cannot be restricted to the end-products of some learning outcomes defined in teaching curriculums. Amy Collier describes the term “not-yetness” and how students can be on their way to building the experience, but haven’t fully grasped it quite yet. Amy says we should be embracing risk, uncertainty, discomfort, unpredictability, creativity, and curiosity.I made sure to put trees, flowers, and green grass to show growth on this side of my SketchNote. Our students will be on their way to find their fire–or as Amy referred to it “what makes you tickle.” I decided to put a welcome sign, like students would be arriving into a town on the road, for when the students finally find their fire. I also noted that the students will not only survive, but THRIVE. This is so important in education, and I am so happy I listened to this podcast, which has caused me to really think about the structure of the education system and what we can do to make change.



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