Thank you, Greece!
No, this is not a post about the Greek crisis. Or at least not about the crisis most people talk about most of the time. Rather, I wanted to share a few reflections after the EDEN Open Classroom conference. As I tweeted a few days ago:
Crisis strong theme in opening session of EDEN conference this morning. May be due to location (Athens, Greece). Or to situation in schools?—
Erik Duval (@ErikDuval) October 28, 2011
I always enjoy meeting my Greek friends, and am quite impressed by the many nice local initiatives: Ariadne now has a Greek president, some of the projects we are involved in are coordinated by our Greek friends, etc.
The EDEN conference ran under the heading of ‘never waste a crisis’ – sounds a bit like management speak to me, but I do admire the way that my Greek friends try to think of the current situation as an opportunity for change…
I was quite impressed by the presentation of Kirsti Lonka on engaging learning environments and by Stephen Harris’s talk on ‘Factories No More‘. They both talked about innovative physical spaces that enable learning in ways that most current school or university buildings prevent rather than promote…
And I was much intrigued by Kirsti’s reference to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a man noted ‘for his notoriously difficult name‘, but also for the concept of flow, ‘the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity’ – not surprisingly, a state you can achieve with students when they feel competent and deal with challenging tasks… Sounds a lot like what I aim for with my students….