Meatiness – the degree to which something deepens or accentuates an experience. For example, the meatiness of discussion relies on the depth of knowledge each person(s) has about the topic. Or, a class is meaty because it gives so much to think about. We need meaty learners, learners who can identify their passions and learn about them. What is this kind of learning and what is it not? Let’s start with what it is not. It is not sitting in a lecture or presentation. It is not having a teacher download information to students as they listen passively information interaction other than to take notes. It is not listening to a webinar.
Meaty learning is when the learner is immersed in the curriculum being coached how to learn content and demonstrate what is learned (curriculum is different than standards). Contextually, the learner’s atmosphere drives him/her to ask questions and inquire about how the content adds relevancy to their life. Inquiry – asking questions and answering them, or solving problems – is meaty because the learner is choosing to delve deeper into the curriculum through their own lens. Connections between ideas, concepts, and generalizations are made bridging new learning synapses. The teacher in this kind of learning loses authorship giving it up for learnership. Learnership is learning with students facilitating “learning how to learn”. The student guides this auto-biographical experience as problems are solved, questions are asked and answered, and learning products are created with the teacher being nearby as the guide. No longer is there teaching in its original sense but transformed to guide individual learners to their own original thoughts and ideas expressed in a variety of ways. Students learn the content and teacher is the guide. ICT gives learners multiple paths to learn and express their learning – a beauty of technology. Teachers are now the new learner – the kind of learner that learns alongside students. Meaningful interaction, or facilitation, with students is the glue in the classroom. Teachers and students lose the classification of “student” and “teacher” to an encompassing category of “learner” because there is the atmosphere of learnership all love and desire. This desire is the meaty learning as meatiness in the classroom for each person wants to grow.
Meaty teaching is learnership where the teacher is both learner and leader in the love of learning.