Posts Tagged: collaboration
I had the chance to take a workshop on Adversity by Design with ninth grade physics teacher Scott Swaaley at the original High Tech High. Scott is a former engineer who’s been teaching at High Tech High for two years. His approach to adversity intrigued me. Embracing and seeking adversity seemed an interesting approach. The philosophy at High Tech High is that students and teachers must be taken to an uncomfortable place or they will check out and not be challenged. Students participate in semester long interdisciplinary projects. Projects by design need to be perceived as difficult in order for students to develop tangible skills. Projects should not be “dumpster” projects, meaning posters or disposable products. Projects should have a sense of permanence or sustainability that can be displayed or shared. Scott runs what he calls the GRIT Lab: Growth, Resilience, Intensity and Tenacity.
Eve Berinati is no stranger to youth engagement, community based learning and flexible teaching and learning environments. She frequently empowers her students with opportunities to share their voices in flexible physical and digital spaces outside the tradition classroom walls of Burlington High School. Some of these include NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), The Young Writers Project, Theatre of the Absurd and Vermont Young Playwrights.
The idea seemed simple enough: Engage students in an authentic civic process, as opposed to an arbitrary “assignment” invented by me as a teacher.