What is The Lab?
It is a new elective for Year 9 & 10 students at my school, being introduced next year, that I've been fortunate to be a part of. The idea of moving away from traditional schooling and having a subject that foster creative and critical thinking that's based on real life context is extremely exciting.
The Lab: Creativity in Practice
We often talk about the box (by the way why is there a box? Why is it not a tube? Why isn’t it a hat?)
We talk about thinking outside the box, thinking creatively, in finding new ways of doing things, in lots of areas of life, technology, sport and business.
The Lab is the course where we look at creativity in all of its forms and puts you at the centre of that. It cuts across and incorporates traditional subjects and looks at what it means to be outside the square. It will teach you and ask you to think about the ways we can approach problems and will ask you to create, solve, build, manufacture and experiment, to be creative in new and different ways.
It will teach and ask students to apply creative problem solving skills to a range of problems, and teach students how to identify the problems around us that need to be solved.
Areas of Study
At a recent #PubPD organised by Craig Kemp, I again explore the notion of giving teachers more autonomy and explain simple ways to redefine teachers' professional learning, these can include:
I'm keen to hear ways you've seen schools changing the ways professional development are ran.
What does it mean to be an educator in the 21st century? What part does technology play in the orchestra that is education? As learning, mathematics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) theorist, Seymour Papert notes, "nothing could be more absurd than an experiment in which computers are placed in a classroom where nothing else is changed". This is a presentation I gave recently which discuss the pitfalls of being innovative in education as well as exploring the journey of discovery through passion, fear, and failure.
Aim: For a group of students to identify an issue about sustainability within the school/local environment and respond by developing a plan for action. (Newington Learning Framework)
Challenge Based Learning:
Is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages learners to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with peers, teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to ask good questions, develop deeper subject area knowledge, accept and solve challenges, take action and share their experience
You can find out more about the project via:
What does it mean to teach in a way that achieves strong academics while fostering dispositions (like persistence or curiosity) that students need for long-term success?
"We must let go of having learners acquire our meanings and have faith in the processes of individuals' construction of their own and shared meanings through individual activity and social interactions." (Costa & Kallick, 2014)
"When students are sufficiently challenged, they give meaning to the work, produce new knowledge, and draw on the thinking dispositions" (Costa & Kallick, 2014)
Below is a hands-on workshop I ran at the TeachTechPlay Conference exploring the idea around:
"How might we facilitate meaningful and engaging professional learning"
You can learn more about the SQUID activity here:
You can learn more about empathy maps here:
Whilst it's still a relatively niche technology to integrate in an educational context, I have been exploring the role of drones in teaching and learning for the past 3 years. Below is a presentation I gave at the National FutureSchools Conference to discuss my successes, failures, and anything in between...