First, thanks to Brett Clark's blog Education Dreamer for posting this video. Watch this video and then come back...I'll wait.
Welcome back ...
The program is called the Independent Project and it works like this:
Sort term questions--
Monday-Students begin by asking themselves: What is a question are you are curious about.
- You spend the week exploring that question
- The difference between this approach and a lot of other classwork is: "You actually want to know the answer."
- Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
- John Muir
- Why a wing generated lift.
Learn to do something you are interested in:
- play an instrument
- writing a book or collection of poems
- research topics like education and environment
The last portion of the curriculum is Collective Endeavor, a group project designed to produce social impact and make a difference which also teaches collaboration skills
Some of the take aways from the video:
- Allows them to become completely invested...not every human being through the same gate.
- whats the role of the teacher...who decides good work? ... according to the administrator
- Their questions get me thinking ... said the science teacher.
- Accommodates different types of leanings--strong and learning different
- Freed to focus on their own curiosity--they work harder when its their own idea
- Learning becomes a group activity--every day
The program is in its second test drive and it many are intrigued by the idea of spontaneous learning. It does raise some questions:
- What can students teach themselves?
- What is the role of the teacher?
"The the power of a young mind is pretty impressive...one they are so resilient, two they are extremely creative, three they are fearless, they will try everything. So, the qualities I think many many teenagers have go really well with the program; which would make sense since it was created by a teenager."
Something serenditious happened while I was writing this blog. Somehow (an I have no idea how it happened) but I inadvertently started playing the following video I posted a few days ago by Sir. Ken Robinson. Hmmmm...maybe the gods are conspiring....