Friday, November 15, 2013

Creative Entrepreneurialism

Examining a bee under a microscope is part of the Bee Project,
understanding their complexity and importance in ecosystems
I just returned from two very thought provoking conferences for Heads of School.  One of the speakers was Dr. Yong Zhao of U. Oregon talking about the ideas in his latest book World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.  His remarks resonated because at Parker we are educating children in all the ways he espouses, through project-based experiences (he calls it product-based) that have a purpose beyond the classroom.  This kind of learning is inherently interesting to children and promotes a passion for learning more.  It involves flexing that creativity muscle in a myriad of ways that are left out of learning as it is expressed by teaching to the Common Core.

Great examples are the honey bee curriculum in 4-5, the goat wool weaving project in K-1, and STEM week and the archeological dig in middle school.  Each of these projects requires students to think independently, make connections across several disciplines and express their learning in multiple forms of media - so far beyond filling in a bubble for multiple choice responses that it's mind boggling!
Students work with our bee-keeping mentor, Tony as they learn to calm the bees with smoke and gather some honey.

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