Teaching for the future: participating and experimenting

Last weekend we took part in an event at the public library “Dokk1” in Aarhus. In cooperation with “The Internationals” we arranged an activity where children could come and build robots out of household objects. The children’s robots were brought to live by attaching small electrical motors and afterwards on green screen.


Alongside this activity we experimented with having some of us participate and interact with the children while being online from another location inside Dokk1. During the day, we made several adjustments on how the online participants was incorporated into the children’s activities. These adjustments were motivated partly by seeing how the children interacted with the ‘online person’ but just as much by our own interests and curiosities. We did this by asking ourselves “What would happen if we try this?”


During this process we gained some experience in how to implement an online dimension in a learning environment. This knowledge will be of great importance to us for use in future projects.


Dewey envisions the individual child as the ‘center of gravity’ for education. The teacher’s role is to ‘lay hold on’ the children’s natural instincts and ‘control their expression’ (Dewey, 1907:71). Thestrup envisions the educator mainly as an active participator in the learning process. He or she acts as a resource through his or her expertise, knowledge and experience. The teacher’s role is not to shepherd the children in a particular direction though, it is to learn and explore alongside them.

“Now the change which is coming into our education is the shifting of the center of gravity. It is a change, a revolution, not unlike that introduced by Copernicus when the astronomical center shifted from the earth to the sun. In this case the child becomes the sun about which the appliances of education revolve; he is the center about which they are organized.” (Dewey, 1907: 51)

“It’s a cultural process. A social process. I’m part of the process as a person, who wants to make this group work. Not only [as] the teacher who wants to run it, but also as a person.” (Thestrup, 2017)

By extending Dewey’s solar system metaphor and combining it with Thestrup’s ideas of the educator as ‘The Participator’, we have created a model symbolized by a binary star system where the student and teacher orbit around each other. Like the gravity from the binary star system they can affect – and be affected by – everything around them.


Dewey, J. (1907). The school and the life of a childSchool and Society. Hentet 30. november 2017.

Thestrup, K. (2017). The Participator – The role of the educator in the future. Set 30. november 2017.


Developing competences for an unpredictable world

A pedagogy for entrepreneurship can be a way to achieve new ways of thinking. It is an investigative approach where we might not know how the end result is going to turn out.

Tække and Poulsen describe how a deconstruction of the old classroom can turn into an open community in three waves:

Skærmbillede 2017-10-31 kl. 11.52.47

The model above illustrates the student’s level of attention to what is being taught. The first wave represents the challenge the internet poses for teachers in an educational setting, where students can easily become distracted by incoming media. In the second wave social media becomes means for intensifying educational purposes. The students interact with each other through different media independent of time and place. The third and final wave draws attention to the outside world. Bringing in third-parties who can contribute with new perspectives to the learning process.

Within the third wave the role of the teacher changes from being transformator of knowledge to becoming facilitator of the learning environment.

But what does a learning environment look like in the digitised 21st century?

Resnick argues that people in the 21st century society needs to be able to do creative thinking and the best way to learn how is to look at children in Kindergarten.

Skærmbillede 2017-10-31 kl. 11.03.37

The figure above shows Resnick’s Kindergarten approach to learning: A spiraling cycle of Imagine, create, play, share and reflect to describe how the creative process works. The different stages in the cycle does not need to be chronological.

With this approach in mind a method to achieve a creative and intriguing learning environment can be Sarah Robinson’s model of five phases of a pedagogy for entrepreneurship. This model focuses on the entrepreneurial approach to pedagogy where you look at individual and collective competences and resources and put them into play, as does Tække and Poulsen’s third wave where students gain digital literacy and both teacher and students work together to establish educational interactions through digital media and connect and interact with their surroundings.

How can entrepreneurial skills help students in the future? How can this approach effect the Danish educational system?



Mitchel Resnick. All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) In Kindergarten. Presented at Creativity & Conference, June 2007.
Jesper Tække & Michael Poulsen. Digitalisation of education – the theory of the three waves. The Centre for Internet Studies. 2017.
Sarah Robinson. A Pedagogy for Entrepeneurship. 2017

At lære gennem leg

Dette blogindlæg tager udgangspunkt i “Meet the Robots” workshoppen samt Christian Kuhnas oplæg fra ELIG 2017 – Hack the Educational Future.

Billeder fra tidligere i forløbet “Meet the Robots”, hvor børnene snakker med studerende fra ITDD over Google Hangout (tv. Planeter, th. Gakkede gangarter)

Workshoppen havde form som et makerspace. Her opstod et samarbejde mellem en af vores ITDD-medstuderende og en elev fra 0. klasse om at bygge og programmere en LEGO Mindstorm robot. På trods af en aldersforskel på ca. 40 år havde de samme udgangspunkt og udforskede teknologien sammen. Ingen af dem havde nogen forhånds erfaring med at bygge og/eller programmere Mindstorm-robotter. De var nødt til at lære det undervejs gennem legen. Altså opstod der et praksisfællesskab på tværs af alder og rolle?

“Start med at lege, stop med at måle” (Christian Kuhna, Elig2017)  

Et gennemgående nøgleord på konferencen var leg. At lære gennem leg og en nysgerrighed på hvordan dette kan udfolde sig. Mange samtaler på konferencen kom ind på at der må gøres op med den nuværende målstyrede tilgang til undervisning, baseret på testresultater, og i stedet skabe rum for implementering af kreativ tænkning i praksisfællesskaber.

Billeder fra ELIG 2017 (Christian Kuhna)

Hvordan kan disse Makerspaces være ramme for leg gennem læring? Hvordan kan man som observatør være med til at facilitere børnenes læring? Hvad lærte børnene ved at være en del af workshoppen?


Open lab – hvad er det? Hvad kan det?

Hvad er det? Et åbent laboratorium kan foregå hvor som helst, når som helst og med hvem som helst. Det har gode betingelser for meningsudvekslinger, eksperimenter og plads til at konstruere og videreudvikle ideer, som opstår i fællesskabet. Der findes uendelige muligheder for ideudvikling i det åbne laboratorium, som er en konstant foranderlig proces, hvor åbenhed og deling er et vigtigt element, der skaber rum for løbende refleksion.

I et åbent laboratorium brydes der med ideen om underviseren som kilden til læring. Læringen er ikke envejs lærer-til-elev men kan tage udgangspunkt og opstå mange forskellige steder: elev-til-elev, lærer-til-elev, elev-til-lærer, udenfor-og-ind, indenfor-og-ud.

Hvor meget styring kan der være med/i et open lab? Er elevernes selvstændige arbejde i fælles faglige fokusområder i naturfag folkeskolen et open lab? Er rollespil et open lab?

Hvad kan det? Det åbne laboratorium opfordrer den enkelte til at være aktiv medskaber i en læringsproces, frem for at være passiv modtager. Der skabes et fælles læringsmiljø, hvor hver deltager udnytter sine kompetencer og ressourcer til i fællesskab, at reflektere, eksperimentere og udvikle forskellige metoder og ideer.