The first time that I heard about Pink Time was in the Motivation and Education course when the designers of this idea inspired by Daniel Pink’s TED talk and his book, were invited to our class to talk about this novel idea. That’s how it works:
They ask their students to skip the class three time times, do ANYTHING that they like, absolutely ANYTHING; no limitation or guideline, share what they did with the class in the next session, and assign a grade to themselves.
They found it to be a very successful experience. Challenging students to learn something because they like it not for any other reason and helping them to become self-regulated learners. At that point, for me, as a person who believes in the chaotic and unstructured nature of learning, this sounded like the most fascinating idea.
Fast forward to six months later, last semester, I took a course in which Pink Time was part of the syllabus. In the middle of the semester, we skipped one class, did whatever we wanted, shared it with people in the room in the next session, and assigned a grade to ourselves. I decided to read an article about STEAM education which I had in mind for a long time (which by the way, even with the excuse of Pink Time, I did not read the whole thing). As fun and entertaining the next session after the Pink Time session was, hearing about everybody’s activities and what they did, I did not like the whole experience. Here, I’m going to describe what I felt without analyzing it:
While trying to figure out what I should do for my Pink Time, I found myself doing it with a sense of obligation. I was not excited. I was not adventurous (stayed within the academic structure (read an article)), and I definitely did not enjoy it. I was surprised by my feelings toward this experience to which I had a pretty positive attitude toward before I got involved in it. This experience made me think whether this activity in this form is appropriate for all levels. When people get to the level of graduate school, they are pretty much self-motivated. I loved the case made by Daniel Pink, but should the implementation of his idea in the form of Pink Time be modified for the different educational levels?
I look forward to reading your comments and ideas about this question.