As human beings, we are compelled to achieve quality when we are deeply invested in the work—when our hearts are fully engaged in the task at hand. For young people, classroom thinking and learning is no different.
These days, it seems everyone is talking about grit, perseverance, 21st century skills, and noncognitive skills, but no one seems to be talking about courage. What does academic courage look like and what happens when students have the courage to overcome fear?
How can curiosity engage students in their learning? How can teachers use students’ curiosity to meet the Common Core State Standards? In 2013, at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, fourth-grade students created What’s Out There, a true or false book about the universe.
Why does learning in schools so rarely change the way students live their lives? Why does school seem to be so disconnected from the way the world really works? What if a science project could make this different?
What happens when students take ownership over their education and push their learning beyond the walls of their school buildings to activate change in their communities? They develop impactful and transformational projects like the Peacekeepers of Chicago.
At King Middle School in Portland, Maine, 8th graders plunged into ReVolt, a 5-month, interdisciplinary expedition using design to solve a real world problem. No core academic subject was left out as the students actively engaged in multifaceted projects across classrooms.