The STEM lab at The Urban School seemed to be based on principles very close to what good T&E teachers in Australia have been doing for a long time –
- giving students well-structured design briefs within which students have freedom to pursue their own choice of projects
- mentoring students as they work independently on their own projects
- insisting on students maintaining comprehensive journals/logs/portfolios of investigations, planning documents, sketches, photos, diagrams and time management procedures – both paper and digital
- including aspects of the tasks involving group work, cooperation, discussion and justifying decisions and choices of tools and materials
- providing opportunities for ongoing reflection, self assessment, peer assessment and showcasing work
- including and valuing (often even in-task assessing) skills from other subject areas – english, maths, science, social science, history
- supporting students to build and create – the “head+hands+heart” Learning Area!
Way to go T&E!! Mixing the theory with the practical application and then getting right “in the thick of it” to work on projects with the kids has always been such a great way to teach, assess and understand your students! UrbanX kids will thrive on it.