Just to clarify this article was inspired from watching the 1971 film with Gene Wilder.
We all know the classic Roald Dahl story of the wacky candy maker and the one honest, thoughtful and well behaved boy.
We learn from the story that being greedy, demanding, not having manners and only watching television will not get you far in life. I would love to see a modern day spin where talking to people in real life rather than just online could have some interesting results.
It is then Charlie who keeps his promise that inherits the wonderful world of the Wonka Chocolate Factory.
What sometimes fails to be the focus is the visionary that Willy Wonka actually is. He is not only a dreamer but he is action man – he has an edible garden, a chocolate waterfall, fizzy lifting drink, Wonkavision and much more. Willy Wonka can be used to inspire us to create our own factory of dreams that we work to make reality.
I have to be honest here I am still trying to get my head around STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths) and how it can be incorporated in my constant classroom practice. I am also more a fan of STEAM (A for arts) as that acknowledges some of us creative types when it comes to performing and creating items that serve more of an aesthetic and social purpose.
I also think about how we as educators are using our classrooms as our own Wonka Factories – are we being risk takers? Are we exploring the different ways to teach, encourage problem solving and encourage our students to make dreams realities? Do we have our own dreams and what are we doing so that we have not completely let them go. This might sound a little too optimistic and I know there are some realities with some dreams but are we letting our students know that too soon?
There has also been a lot of discussion regarding the paradigm shift in education. Maybe if we consider the visions and dreams that Willy Wonka has and how he experiments and tries to achieve them – we too could make the changes that are need to suit the needs of the current world we live in.
Creating memes and being aware of what students respond to could be one way that we “Wonkify” our classrooms.
I had to, of course, create my own condescending wonka meme for this article. Keep in mind that inspiring isn’t always trying to change the world. We can inspire to read, inspire to travel, inspire to help others. As educators we should be inspiring students to solve problems, lead some movements and of course, most importantly, keep learning.
Magdalene Mattson is a Primary School Teacher with a passion for nurturing creativity and giving students and teachers the opportunity to learn, create and grow in an area that inspires them. This year she is leading the Australian ClassDojo Community and while working with the team at #aussieEd who run Australia’s biggest Educational Chat on Twitter.