This blog post features a teacher applying the “Start With Why” idea to an actual classroom scenario. She explains a lesson she taught, in which students memorized unimportant details about a topic, rather than truly learning something more meaningful. She resolves to start with “why” teach something, rather than simply teaching it because it’s in the curriculum.
I’m providing the link to the entire site because you really would benefit from all the resources on this site if you’re interested in increased student choice and passion in the classroom. The site contains lesson plans and videos of student presentations of research they conducted about their passions. It also features a blog.
Student-centered learning, student choice, and student agency are all important in schools and classrooms working to implement the ideas of Start With Why. The third video on this page is from a New Jersey middle school that includes an EdCamp period in their day, during which students are given choice and freedom in what they decide to learn.
An educational blog on innovation gives background information on Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, and contains links to resources that you can actually use with your students in class. The idea is that it is crucial for our students to discover their own "why." The Friends Exercise and the Golden Circle diagrams would be helpful if you want your students to start thinking about their purposes and passions.
As one of his regular podcast topics, Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought Professional Development, discusses applying the principles of Start With Why to schools. The topic focuses more on overall school culture and philosophy than on specific classroom practices. It’s worth listening to if you’re interested in the “big picture” of how, and why, education should happen.
Teacher Shelley Wright shares the experience and process of becoming a teacher who truly allows her students to lead the learning. Her science class raised $20,000 to help build schools in Uganda, organizing themselves to reach this amazing goal. I wish she had discussed how she incorporated science into the project. Still, it’s very inspiring.
“This book was written for anyone who wants to inspire others, and anyone who wants to find someone to inspire them.” Author Simon Sinek’s book and its principles of inspiring people to follow their passions and discover their “why” has inspired businesses and organizations, and many believe its ideas are applicable to education. This collection will give you a glimpse into the relevance of Sinek’s ideas for education.