The Invictus Writers project was conceptualized precisely as a way to remove the teacher as the primary motivator, and replace that with “the audience” as primary motivator. That required the project to have as many front-facing, student-led initiatives as possible.
Last week I wrote a post (“Constructivism, Transmedia Thinking, and Why the Classroom Doesn’t Work”) that explored some of the reasons that I struggle with teaching creative arts within the confines of a structured classroom. This week I wanted to explore a second part to that argument: Constructivist teaching experiences work best when the outcome is applied research aimed at solving a real-world problem.
One fact stands out as I’ve read: the formula for learning I experienced in Dr. Frager’s class is one that I’ve seen discussed in various formats in all those works: Science + practical application + sharing = learning.
What I’ve started to work on is creating better learning groups. I’ve done this by eliminating small group work, and replacing that with large group work. Rarely will I use the 4-person group. Instead, I’m looking for ways to get an entire class working in parallel to solve on problem. Here’s my latest (and best) example: