Why is it so hard to get kids to “Geek Out?”
We can apply the “Ho-ma-go” model of Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out to our project. We were successful in creating a positive social-emotional environment for students through the use of the circle process and other community building tools and challenges that are outlined in our curriculum. This invited kids to “Hang Out”.
We invited kids to “Mess Around”, and in that area we also found success. Although it was slow to catch on, and adults had to help and facilitate projects to get started, students did become more comfortable with tinkering and experimenting with the tools that were available, and became comfortable messing around more frequently.
If we define “Geeking Out” as getting so involved in something that you are very knowledgable, can answer questions , spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the topic or project.
It is the Geeking Out part that presents the difficulty. Not many of our students achieved the GO level of activity. So we ask why, when given the space and time, literally no bells, no walls, are students paths not taking them to the geeking out stage? Is there something about GO that happens when there are no academic expectations or adult monitors? When we make those learner driven activities acceptable and consider them academic does that somehow diminish young peoples’ desire to engage with them?