Sunday, June 16, 2013

Purple Session (4): Projects and Portfolios

Projects and Portfolios.

In a simple definition, a project is work that the student chooses to do.  A collection of projects could form a portfolio that shows the work of the student.

The reading from Big Picture:  p. 114

 I started noticing how these kinds of real projects got kids engaged and really got them to learn the same stuff we were trying to teach them by locking them up inside a classroom. Have you ever watched kids work on planning and organizing a prom? Oh my gosh. At Thayer, the biggest “problem kids” in the school would work until midnight helping everybody, putting stuff up, and just getting things done. Intellectual kids or not-so-intellectual kids, they were there, and they were working harder than most of us had ever seen them work. It shows you that when some- thing is real and has meaning to people—wow! Think about driver’s ed., too. In school after school, I’ve seen kids who would regularly miss days and days of school somehow manage to make it in on days when there was driver training. The kind of learning going on in driver’s ed. or when plan- ning the prom is real, and it has consequences kids can feel.

For Discussion
1.  Why do so many students describe their educational experiences as boring?
2.  What advantages would there be to you if you could ask students to do a project instead of taking a test that you (the teacher) created?

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