Friday, February 6, 2009

Bored to ... create

Remember Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Remember that Science teacher with the monotone lecture style? Wasn't Ferris just so bored with school that he created something better? Hollywood aside...

I was reading Laura Deisley's blog post entitled, "Drumming it out" in which she talks about what grows out of our boredom:

Boredom-or lack of a prescribed activity-enables imagination and creativity. Just like the lack of "saying anything" to fill space encourages private reflection, boredom actually moves us to higher levels of experience and engagement and learning. (Deisley, 2008)
What are the minds in our classrooms doing when not engaged in our prescribed learning activity? What is really going on when we bore them to tears? Isn't this where learners create ideas, those outside-the-box creations that take off as if they had wings of their own?

I once had a professor who sought to engage the class in a prescribed learning activity - a review of the concepts taught. Nothing inherently wrong, such activities take place in classrooms everyday. Except little ol' obstinate and bored to tears me was there. When called upon, I promptly thought of a new possibility way out of the universe (where was that box anyway?). Being the person I am, I voiced this wonderful idea. That professor surprised me, and probably others too, in the reaction. The professor moved the lesson into a brainstorming along those lines.

Yes, I was being intentionally disruptive. You all know I am. The point here is, what is our response to our learner's boredom? Few learners give voice to their imaginations, creations, reflections. Do we seek to engage every learner? An interesting thought to ponder...

Photo courtesy of alessandro pucci available at and covered under an Attribution 2.0 Creative License

1 comment:

montgorp said...

Wow! Now that's an out of the box way to think about learning. I like it!

As a student in the library, my best learning always took place in the thumbed pages of the books on the shelves between those on the reading list.

And actually, when I think about it, I remember a lecturer once saying that to me.