Did you know that there have been studies of the long term impact of Open Minds sites? (Maybe I already mentioned it)
Gillian Kydd, who pioneered the program made a video recording of students who participated in Zoo school 7 years earlier. Through that experience we learned some interesting (if slightly anecdotal) things, including:
- Students remember tactile and sensory things (like smells and playing with snow)
-Students don’t often recall programs, or activities that they did. They remember the things they saw more than the tasks they completed
- Upon reflection, the students realized that the experience taught them that there were more ways to learn than the “classroom method” and that these other ways were valid and important
- Each participant shared their intended career path, and attributed that path to something they learned at Zoo School (so the learning is deep, and the lessons are sustained although perhaps not immediately recognizable)
- Students totally forget facilitators, but they have strong memories of their teacher and parents (if they participated) from that time.
This idea is well established in research – emotion and learning are closely connected and student teacher bonds are an important part of student success.
But don’t worry – we don’t get down on ourselves because we’re ultimately forgotten! Because for the brief period that your students are here, we know we’ve captured their attention.