After having our schedule filled with school trips, college visits, and AP testing, we are finally back in class and are beginning get a better sense of what this prototype will look like. We’ve gathered so much information through teacher and student interviews so we have a pretty clear picture illustrated to us of what an engaging classroom looks like for many students and teachers at our school, obstacles to curiosity and having this engaging and empowering classroom environment, and what students and teachers believe is the goal of their education.
We’ve gathered and culled this information but have been unsure of how to package it into something that would help to cultivate curiosity and foster an engaging and empowering environment in classrooms.
At first, we thought that perhaps some sort of book or guide would be the best way to convey this information we’ve gathered, but we were hesitant to go down this path. There are so many books on education and curiosity and so much that teachers and students have to do already. What would make this book or guide any different? It would end up simply being a burden for teachers to use if they were to use it at all.
Mr. Heidt reminded us that whatever this prototype ends up as, that it cannot be “prescriptive”. We cannot tell teachers how they should run a classroom or what students should do to be more curious. This only gives teachers less freedom in their classrooms and extinguishes student curiosity. Essentially, we wouldn’t be changing anything.
As this prototype needs to be open ended, allow for student and teacher choice, and in itself be inherently curious, we think it will end up as a curiosity kit. A box with odds and ends inside to provoke curiosity.
After synthesizing all of the information we’ve gathered from interviews, we’ve created two character statements that we are using in making our prototype to be sure that we are addressing the needs of students and teachers.
Student character statement:
The curious, stressed, busy, preoccupied student learner needs to learn in a way that makes him/her feel engaged and empowered because then he/she can live a fulfilled life and achieve his/her goals and dreams.
Teacher character statement:
The restricted, busy, passionate, earnest, and frustrated teacher needs to teach in a way that makes him/her feel relevant to their student’s growth because then they will know they have helped facilitate their student’s growth.
Using these character statements as a guide, we’re hoping to have a complete idea and hopefully finished prototype within the next several days.