"I think all teachers must have times when they’re faced with the decision to continue on the safe road that they know, or radically depart on a way that they believe to be better, but the specific route and outcomes are unknown," writes Shelley Wright on the excellent educators blog Voices from a Learning Revolution.
With honesty and in great detail, Wright talks about how she decided to jump in with both feet to completely reorganize her class structure and the way she teaches. Wright shifted the teacher-centered, textbook-based class to a collaborative learning space, encouraging students to research units individually and in groups, and to help each other. They even created their own online textbook.
How did it go? She discusses the first few halting steps:
First, my science, technology, and English classes are paperless. This is a big change for me and my students. All the information for our class is housed on our wiki. My students are in the process of adapting to being responsible for their own education. Instead of having things handed to them, whether it be the answer, or a piece of paper with their assignment on it, they are now required to take initiative and access all the information they need.