Madoka, a student in our department at Showa Women’s University, won a week-long trip to Boston in the Hitomi Cup Speech Contest yesterday. In “Wonder brings a lifelong love of learning” she advocated for open education ideas she learned at the exploratorium and as a volunteer at the children’s museum when she was studying at our campus in Boston. It was gratifying to see her win. She was so excited.
When I talked to her on the judging break before she won, she said she was also inspired by the workshop style class I taught last semester. In Culture Today we brought our laptops to class and worked in small groups most of the time, with a weekly “menu” of activities to choose from. Freedom and exploration were purposely part of the course, which I pointed out was a bridge to self-learning, as that would be the last course they would take in English before graduation.I am so happy that Madoka gets it. She understands about learning, how it is all about discovery, and choice, and work and asking questions. This is why I am a teacher.