In the introduction, Paul talks about what it means to have the spirit of a "pirate"....
- be daring, adventurous and willing to set forth into uncharted territories with no guarantee of success,
- reject the status quo and refuse to conform to any society that stifles creatively and independence,
- take risks and are willing to travel to the ends of the earth for what which they value.
Okay, maybe I'm more of a pirate than I thought I was! lol
The full title of the book is Learn Like a Pirate: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed. The gist of the book is about turning the learning over to the kids.....guiding them to be "leaders of their learning" and building the classroom culture to facilitate it. I immediately began thinking about a book I read earlier this summer - Drive, by Daniel Pink. Pink says we need to bring autonomy, mastery, and purpose to the classroom and to student's learning. Why wouldn't we work toward building a student-led classroom where students are autonomous over the task, time, team, and techniques as Pink describes and Solarz brings to his students? After all, autonomy leads to engagement!
Solarz uses a PIRATE acronym as a model for building a student - led classroom. The strategies are noted below.
- P - Peer collaboration
- I - Improvement Focus vs. Grade Focus
- R - Responsibility
- A - Active Learning
- T - Twenty-first Century Skills Focus
- E - Empowerment
What I love about this book is it is quite evident that Paul is a teacher who is very passionate about what he does and is willing to invite us on board his ship for an inside look at how it works. Thank-you Paul for sharing all your great classroom ideas! I encourage you buy his book and read about his other ideas for helping students collaborate, lead, and succeed!