Thursday, January 31, 2013

Projects, passion, curiosity

Science teacher, Kate Perry sent this wonderful article from Edutopia my way:  Change the subject: Making the Case for Project-Based Learning.  I urge everyone connected with Parker to read this - it really describes how we are educating students here.  While not abandoning the classic subject areas, Parker teachers collaborate and combine the disciplines for rich, interesting, connected studies of big questions and relevant explorations - that have real-life applications and audiences. 

Our graduates attest to the value of how they were educated at Parker: flexible, adaptable skills for an always changing future.  Thomas Friedman's editorial today echoes the same theme: the Passion Quotient (PQ) and the Curiosity Quotient (CQ) are now as important for economic success as IQ.  Passion and curiosity must be intentionally nurtured in school - and that is what a project-based curriculum like Parker's is doing. 

K-1 students have been studying crystals, rocks and minerals.  Today they imagined what lies below the surface of the earth: burrows, pipes, rocks, bones...endless room for wondering, testing and exploring.

4-5's study of lizards combines art and language arts: 2 and 3 dimensional work in oil pastels and sculpture and perspective-taking in writing.

Exploring the properties of motion and force: middle school science students build Rube Goldberg style machines: passion, curiosity and intelligence are all engaged here!

What is outside that informs the study of crystals?  Snow!  And there are animal tracks!

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