It’s funny how little things get you thinking.
I was at my son’s Father’s Day breakfast and Mass this morning. We were looking through his workbooks, and we came across maze puzzle (you know the one…find your way from one point to another through the maze drawing)
I asked him “where would you start?”. He replied “at the end, because its easier”. We both laughed.
As I was driving back to work after that, I got to wondering. The maze on paper isn’t too dissimilar to the way many teachers work on stuff – start at the beginning (no cheating!), know that you have to get to the end (hopefully…sometime), bump into a few obstacles on the way, take a few wrong turns, eventually emerge at the other end, hopefully with new learning, skills and a sense of achievement.
(Hopefully you can see where this is going)
And then I thought, “what would it be like starting at the end?” That would mean you’d know what your goal looked like before you started (The Big Picture), you’d still have twists and turns, but the path always seems more obvious (try it out on paper) and where do you end up? The present day, but with a better product than you have now. It’s called “backward design” and I reckon it works in just about everything we do as teachers.
So, where do you start?