Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Designing for synergy....

So my students from Secondary 2/Grade 8 have finally submitted their architecture models and presentation boards, after a long semester of lessons, chasing them for their milestone deliverables, facilitating their discussions and ideation, and all the other things that a teacher has to do to make sure that they have learned something during my lessons. It has never been an easy thing when you have such multiplicty in your scheme of things, but this is also precisely why such things should be something that should be a more common sight in the classrooms. This idea that students are inherently different, and should thus partake in exploring  things that are well, more attuned to their cognitive levels of understanding, plus a level higher.

But a more important thing that I want to highlight is this very thought of having a unifying project that would compel and encourage and require them to adopt a multi-disciplinary mindset in their approaches. I am a firm believer in getting students to work on projects that would perhaps be their 'graduating' piece, their swan song school-centric project that would enable them to apply what they have learned, and make them question the applicability of concepts learned from hours sitting in the classroom, and listening to lecturers, and reading their texts. Much like how post-secondary institutions here in Singapore have their final-year projects (also affectionately called FYP's, for short), I think there should be this grand project, that would enable students to make sense of all their lessons, and  uncover their own knowledge.

For me, the architecture  module in the ADM subject area is such a project. Yes...it is still very much limited to the specific subject matter, but what I would like to continue to do is to see how some of these ideas can be transplanted and expanded into a larger superset, a larger context and domain, whilst still retaining the 'safety net' of it being a school-centric endeavour, because we also want to encourage discoveries of new knowledge, and sometimes failure will precede these discoveries. 

There are still tonnes of possibilities that I would like to explore within the module, some of course more applicable than others. Most of the 'low-hanging fruits are already taken, and I guess it's time for us now to go for the higher ones. Let us see how we can move on from here then.

Wish me luck. :D

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