Lake Como Cognitive Skills

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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

Empowered Learning Transformation Centers is impacting student cognition.

ELTC education changes the way students think. Here, we'll look at how that's evident in both pedagogy and practice — gleaning insights from both research and our maker education panel on how this movement is improving student learning across the board.


Creating Flexible Thinkers Who Are Less Afraid to Fail

In traditional education, students often find themselves in constant pursuit of a letter grade, which comes with real risk aversion. After all, why take a risk by experimenting with new and creative ideas that might not work, when you can play it safe and get a guaranteed A?


So many kids are so afraid to fail. They worry about letter grades.


Some students are good at playing the game of education. This is completely counter to that. Some kids that might normally excel because they know the routine of education — they get here and that's all gone, they have to re-figure out how to learn.


Sharpening Critical and Creative Thinking

When students enter a makerspace, they know that they won't succeed by repeating what the teacher says or by taking a test. Instead, they have to make choices.


Executing on their plans requires deep critical thinking as a form of problem-solving, It requires having students "look at the problem through a different lens rather than us guiding them," Singh said.


So how can you best support your students so that they're getting the very most learning benefits out of your maker projects? It requires a shift.


ELTC educators tend to act more like a guide or a coach to learning than you find in traditional educational models. There's less direct instruction and more questions. Did that student's design not quite work out the way they hoped? Don't tell them what to do. Ask them the kinds of questions they should be asking themselves to get them thinking critically. Then send them off to investigate more effective approaches.


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