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10

2020-06

The Expressive Mind
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Antasha Rene


There are many great articles aboutProject-Based Learning {PBL} that explain the process and/or the benefits of use in the classroom.  Let’s shift perspective and explore some of the creativity our scholars can connect with tocomplete some of their projects.


Creativity and imagination are two aspects of learning that are rarely seen in the modern classroom, yet have a great impact on the retention of knowledge and lesson enjoyment.  When our scholars are able to put information into action, they have a greater connection to their tasks and lesson content.  It is common for young minds,and some adults, to be unaware of projects to express their understanding of content.  However, a few sheets of paper,some colored pens/markers/crayons, scissors, and tape can be the foundation of visual aides that may be simple, yet create the same understanding of somethingmore elaborate. 


Our scholars may easily earn good grades,high marks and much praise for their academic efforts, and equally display a lack of confidence or self-doubt when it comes to expressing themselves artistically.  The idea that anindependent project may not be “good enough,” or the feeling one is not able tocontribute as well as another in group work, are obstacles a teacher encounterswhen encouraging their scholars to go beyond the idea of “study to get a goodgrade”.  That grading system can distortor diminish the courage of our scholars to be a little creative and put their imaginations into action.  The lack of support from some parents add to this challenge. 


The immediate counter response looks to that of innovation and visionaries from the past who brought seemingly impossible ideas into our modern era.  The wheel, automobiles, assembly lines, airplanes, computers, telephonesto mobile phones to cellular watches, gaming, agriculture, beauty, textiles,etc., have already been invented, so one may ask, “What else is there?”  Joy Mangano reinvented the wheel on one ofher luggage lines, and that idea not only added to her wealth, it added more packing space to her products.  3M is an American-based multinational corporation that, according to their CEO, MikeRoman, “We use science to improve lives and help solve the worlds toughest challenges.“  A review of the products 3M has improved covers many industries and are found in offices and households worldwide.


Critical thinking is important!  Creative thinking and expression are equallyimportant, and very necessary.  Whys houldn’t one our scholars invent, re-think or re-purpose what we have come torely on as a necessity in our modern times?  The idea of innovation connects us to not just what we know, but to newways to show or express that knowledge.  Classroom projects are a great start to not only shift the traditional ways of thinking, they also provide early experience and practice.  If we, as educators and parents, encourageour scholars beyond the traditional grading system as the sole value andexpression of education, we remove many limitations on our scholars and providethem the courage and confidence to compete and perform outside of theirstandard expectations.

 

 

Below are some project examples from the ISD Elementary Science Dept.  Please note that not one scholar took pictures of themselves completing their project, even though it was part of the instructions.  Encouragement to build confidence can do so much!

Picture 2Picture 1         

 

      

 

 

             

Picture 5Picture 7 

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