When Assistant Superintendent Chuck Smith talks about how teaching and learning is changing in the Wilton schools, he notes that we are teaching students how to take greater ownership of their learning. This approach requires teachers to place less emphasis on lectures and memorization of content and more emphasis on “strategy-based” learning methods. Strategy-based learning is where students begin to explore different processes — and make mistakes along the way — before finally arriving at the correct answer. By using this method, when the correct answer is discovered, the student understands why the answer is correct, and how the process “fits” with related concepts.
With the transition to this approach to teaching and learning and influx of technology taking place across Wilton’s classrooms, teachers are being asked to fundamentally transform the look and feel of the “traditional” classroom. Students no longer spend most of their time sitting in neat rows and listening to a series of 45-minute lectures. Instead, students collaborate in groups and work — under a teacher’s direction and supervision — to not just learn subject material, but to master key concepts and hopefully become passionate about their learning.