Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How do we motivate kids?

A preschooler explores the properties and movement of water and air.

A sixth grader designs his own project for the 3D printer with Google Sketch Up.

A K-1 team uses their knowledge of force and motion to move a ball with a LEGO robot.

An eighth grader leads her mother and grandfather through her portfolio and goals at her student-led conference.
How do we motivate kids at Parker?  Motivation has been a big topic in the education news lately and here are some great articles about what elements you need in school to create it.

How to Foster Students' Mindsets and What Keeps Students Motivated to Learn? both in MindShift.

These articles could have been written about Parker, along with another, Moving Towards Inquiry about Project Based Learning (PBL), that urges schools to use PBL as effectively as we do.

The methods and mindsets described by these prominent educators tell the story of how we teach at Parker. They are not just buzzwords and they really do motivate students.  Here are a few of the elements we weave into the life of the school. The pictures above show some of them in action.

  • Inquiry
  • Deep learning
  • Student-centered culture
  • Collaborative teams
  • Integrated projects
  • Hands on learning
  • Topics relevant to students
  • Self and peer evaluation
  • Learning from failure
  • Belonging to an academic community

These elements describe the tenets of the progressive movement in education. They are inherent in our mission.  We do them really well - and they work.  The education mainstream is finally catching on - and urging schools to be more like Parker.

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