If a question has a correct answer, is it worth asking?
If something is "Googleable" why would we spend precious class time teaching it?
When we ask students to summarize, do we actually want to know what's important to them?
What do you suppose students think they are supposed to be doing when we ask them to analyze?
Do you ever ask your students questions you don't know the answer to? Why not?
Here's a TEDxCreativeCoast video - The Future Will Not Be Multiple Choice - that answers those questions and showcases the power of a PBL / design-based approach to learning. Turn curricula into design challenges, classrooms into workshops and teach students to think like designers.
While you watch it, try to think of a meaningful career that looks like filling out a worksheet.
It’s unfortunate that student don’t get to use their innate perceptual skills more often in the classroom. Instead of discovering patterns on their own, students are “taught” to memorize patterns developed by someone else. Rather than do the messy work of having to figure out what’s going on, students are saddled with graphic organizers which take all the thinking out of the exercise. This clever video, “Doodling in Math Class: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant” captures the fascination of patterns in nature.
“Studio H: Design. Build. Transform” is a new exhibit that just opened at Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft. It offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the design process. Studio H embodies the key elements of project-based learning while inspiring and empowering student as change agents in their community. Studio H is a public high school “design/build” curriculum that sparks rural community development through real-world, built projects. By learning through a design sensibility, applied core subjects, and industry-relevant construction skills, students develop the creative capital, critical thinking, and citizenship necessary for their own success and for the future of their communities.
The MoCC’s Studio H exhibit re-imagines the gallery as a laboratory and teaching space. Visitors get see how students were taught a non-linear design process based on a more authentic learning environment that grows out of a dynamic interplay between research, ideation, development, prototyping and building. The exhibition asks viewers to reflect on how that process can teach the next generation of designers to transform the world for themselves. Artifacts from the studio classroom in rural Bertie County, North Carolina (where Emily Pilloton, and Project H partner Matthew Miller, teach design thinking to high-school students) are on display and illustrate how a socially engaged design process can result in significant and positive solutions.
I am proud of my life-long career in public education - especially the 25 years I spent as a teacher. For over 20 years, I have worked with school districts, state DOEs, leading educational organizations and companies to improve the quality of teaching and learning. I provide training and consulting services across the United States and internationally.
Free DBQ iBook: Close Reading Plus Essential Question
Critique and Evaluate PRIMARY SOURCES / Guiding CCSS PROMPTS
Analyze Propaganda: Think Critically About Persuasive Multi-Media Sources