In extended conversations with these educators, we have identified five main elements that are quintessential features of meaningful participatory learning for the 21st century: motivation and engagement, relevance, creativity, co-configured expertise, and connection. Thus, in other words, these five characteristics of participatory learning (CPLs) are, in our view, the features that foster:
- Heightened motivation and new forms of engagement through meaningful play and experimentation;
- Learning that feels relevant to students’ identities and interests;
- Opportunities for creating and solving problems using a variety media, tools and practices;
- Co-configured expertise where educators and students pool their skills and knowledge and share in the tasks of teaching and learning;
- An integrated system of learning where connections between home, school, community and world are enabled and encouraged.
The way I see it, the beauty of this framework lies in the interconnections between these five different aspects: I believe they are simultaneously interdependent and complementary to one another.