Over the next few months I’ll be publishing 10 posts as teasers (not spoilers) for the 10 chapters in our upcoming book, Hacking Project Based Learning, which was written with Erin Murphy (@MurphysMusings5) and will be released this winter. For book updates, sign up for my mailing list (and also receive a free eBook)…This post is a sneak peak for Chapter 1, Establish a Culture of Inquiry and Creativity. #HackingPBL
Before I left the classroom a few years ago, there were a few items on my bucket list I never got to accomplish (and I would have accomplished them had I taught for just one more year)…One of these missed opportunities was a complete redesign of my classroom.
You see, the final year I taught fourth grade, my students and I started our work in science by learning about the scientific method through the creation of original egg packagings with a process called design thinking. In short (ok, very short), students didn’t just engineer creative products, but they did so with empathy for the consumer in mind. And, they then assessed the effectiveness of their homemade creations based on what they determined to be the indispensible features of an exemplary product (while visualizing themselves in the shoes of the consumer).
My students enjoyed our design thinking work so much, following the egg unit and throughout the year I consistently told them something to the effect of, “Once state testing is done in April, I’ll give you a budget of a few hundred dollars and you can use your experiences with design thinking to revamp our classroom.” Nevertheless, for one reason or another, the overhaul never happened.