World of Przemek Staroń 

Magical education and WOW effect

I’m edu-​enthusiast, a big fan of versatility and multidimensionality. I think that education is magical, that it is WOW! I don’t only think so, I apply that in everyday life!

Concept

In ancient times, Plato and Aristotle thought that everything comes from amazement by the world. This surprise is seen among contemporary authors, such as W. Szymborska, J. Campbell or M. Erhmann in “Desideratum”. Everywhere! In “The power of myth” Campbell wrote that everything begins with saying “Oh my God, the world is so amazing.” While Max Ehrmann in “Desideratium” wrote that with all of the toil, hardness and lost dreams, the world is still beautiful. I definitely agree with that! I’m an edu-​enthusiast, a fan of versatility and multidimensionality. I think that education is magical, that it’s WOW! I don’t only think like that, I apply this in everyday life!

My magical education

In my concept of magical education, I combine ideas of learning through experiencing (by John Dewey), peak experience (by Abraham Maslow) and pedagogy of heart (by Maria Łopatkowa). I emphasise the idea of pedagogy of heart, because the essence of education is love – love to yourself, love to the students and love to the knowledge. Being a good person. In the modern world and modern education, goodness and being good is crucial. Moreover, the goodness is everywhere and in every one of us, the only thing we have to do is to notice it and use.

My “WOW effect” in education

You can transmit knowledge in many interesting and unobvious ways. At least I do so. I bring LEGO bricks of which we made philosophical concepts. I’ve created around 130 LEGO figures of the greatest philosophers. I record podcasts in which I read extracts of philosophical artworks and describe their meaning. These are only some examples of the things I do…

Leibniz cookies during lesson about Leibniz philosopher? Happy Meal toys during lesson about trolley dilemma? Board Games, Harry Potter Books or social media? Why don’t we use all of that in education process?! There is only one answer – use it!

Using those gadgets during classes really encourages young people to explore, expand their knowledge on their own, to experience and to get excited about things which are good, beautiful and wise. It’s successful and gives amazing effect of students being keen on knowledge and educational WOW effect.

Sketchnotches

Lego is fantastic, but it’s just one of the methods you can use. It has its drawbacks – it is not the cheapest educational tool in the world, it takes up a lot of space, and transferring it requires equilibristics. And here visual thinking comes in handy, which is so egalitarian in every aspect – especially in financial and spatial terms. For two years I have been practicing visual thinking in various forms – flipcharts, sketchnotes, creating maps of thoughts, etc. On the one hand, I show my students how easy it is to remember, and on the other, I automatically stimulate them to develop in this field. Here are some examples of my sketchnotes, which I have digitalized and which illustrate particular philosophical concepts.

Youth work

These are special elements that occupy an honorary place in my professional life. These are both creative works of young people associated with the activities that I conduct, as well as unusual gifts that I receive from them.

Rebuses

Knowledge can be passed on in different ways, and I know that the more interesting the ways, the better for both students and teachers, because together they feel the joy of the learning process. That’s why I love creating „mixes” of methods, e.g. using elements of different board games, visual thinking and digital tools

Maybe that’s what magic was – looking into darkness and seeing a light most people missed.

— Lauren Kate 

What can we do together?