Help students find their purpose

I am always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to help students learn.  I am always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to help adults learn, me included.  Here is an organization worth checking out.

In a conversation, with a friend and colleague Barbara Dill-Varga, we were discussing how to engage students, especially in this VUCA world.  I mentioned my favorite African Proverb  “Not learning is bad, not wanting to learn is worse.”

Tony Wagner has been writing for years, and his twitters are timely, about helping students find their passion and purpose. Then incorporating reading, writing, math, etc. to facilitate their creativity, entrepreneurship, and curiosity  Jon Saphier has specific strategies in his book, High Expectations Teaching, fifty ways to teach students they are smart. These strategies help create more student confidence and competence.

Barb told me of an organization Wayfind led by Patrick Cook-Deegan.  I have included a short description below.  When talking directly to Patrick, he told me of a set of activities focused on ‘belonging’ along with the lessons on purpose.  Belonging is important for middle AND high school students. Wayfinder has print materials and are producing an app for thee materials that will be ready this fall.

Schools have always done more than teach content.  Helping students build self-directed learning skills, collaboration, embracing diversity, creativity, and the list goes on.  These are life skills that will always be necessary for future learning and applying to new kinds of work.  We may not know what jobs will look like but we do know it will involve continual learning and working with others.  ‘Learning to learn’ skills will outlive knowing specific content.  Knowledge is important AND insufficient.  Application of knowledge working with real problems has always been an outcome for teacher and schools to prepare our kids for an unknown future.

As I have reviewed the materials I will definitely pursue incorporating these two themes and the others Wayfinder has produced.  I am interest in bringing Belonging and Purpose into alternative and existing schools that I consult with.  Finding purpose has thirty lessons that would fit nicely into a weekly advisory.  Creating a sense of belonging can increase the feeling of community, being accepted, and increasing self-worth to contribute to the whole.

If the description below piques your curiosity, has application to help with our current distance learning models, and you see possibilities for student personal growth, check it out.  I am.

Here is a link to a general video about Wayfinder: What it Means to Become a Wayfinder Educator

Let’s commit to making school, community, and the world a better place for all, especially our students. 

Wayfinder’s Purpose:

Imagine if adolescent education was designed for all students to develop lives of meaning and purpose. In 2015 Project Wayfinder was founded at the Stanford d.school to answer this call. We partner with educators to design innovative learning experiences that foster belonging and guide students to navigate their lives with purpose. With our fifth academic year upon us, our Purpose Learning toolkits + trainings have journeyed to over 15,000 students, 1000 teachers, 200 schools across 25 states and 18 countries.

Vision: We imagine a world where adolescent education is designed for all students to develop lives of meaning and purpose.

Mission: We partner with educators to design innovative learning experiences that foster meaningful relationships and guide students to navigate their lives with purpose.