Thursday, December 13, 2012

New School Thinking, Old School Tools

Check out the view from our art class yesterday.

Teachers at my school do fantastic things. In this case, our art teacher was working with our students to create Earth Art, literally pieces of art made using resources such as rocks, leaves, sticks, etc. 

We have a fantastic environment around CDNIS, including a hiking trail on Nam Long Shan. We hiked up the hill, to a fantastic vista and started locating resources. As students were creating their art (see images below), I felt inclined to tweet the following: "The perception that classrooms and homework are the primary avenues to success in learning is antiquated and needs to go." The learning that happened in just those two periods was amazing: students needed to discuss and collaborate on their art, they needed to consider the possible resources they would use and how to arrange them in an original and meaningful way, they reflected on and wrote about the messages they wanted to convey. 

All that with leaves, rocks and twigs. No computers, no desks, no projectors, no text books. 

Best practices in the 21st century educational landscape include student engagement, critical and creative thinking, collaboration,  innovation, communicating. I've witnessed another example of best practices at my school, all with old school tools, but not with old school thinking. 

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