Value creation pedagogy is all about mixing learning activities with value creation activities. Learning is strengthened when value creation activities are added to the learning mix. Value creation is then a powerful means towards the ultimate end of improving learning. The more finely we mix the two, the better we bridge between theory and practice. Learning represents the theory part, and value creation represents the practice part. By asking students to apply their knowledge to create value for others, we also ask them to apply theorerical knowledge in practice.
Learning and value creation are like oil and water
A key challenge in value creation pedagogy is the difficulty in mixing learning and value creation. The two are like oil and water. Unless we stir constantly, they will keep separating from each other spontaneously. It is the teacher who must do the stirring required for the two to mix. This requires energy. Value creation pedagogy therefore needs to be viewed as an investment in time and energy from the teacher. The pay-back comes in the form of more motivated students learning content knowledge deeply, and also in the form of a more enjoyable profession for the teacher. All people involved benefit from a more meaningful educational experience.
Asking bridging questions
One way to stir is to ask bridging questions to students. A key bridging question is: “For whom is this knowledge valuable, today?”. When students get to think about answers to this question, they are forced to bridge theory and practice, at least on a cognitive level. As teachers, we can then take the next natural step in the process. Just ask your students to act upon the answers they come up with. Any potential value they think that they could create through their knowledge can actually be attempted to be created in real-life. This requires them to contact a real person outside their own little group. Scary at first, but transformative when done.