‘Creativity takes courage‘ isn’t just a theme for the students this year, it’s a theme for the teachers, too!
I am a mom of three daughters, 16, 18, and 24 years old. My hope for them is that they live a life full of passion, compassion, joy, creativity, and have a life-long love for learning.
I want them to never stop investigating their worlds, know how to understand what is happening in their culture, and always have the courage to problem solve outside of the proverbial box. As parents, don’t we all want something along those lines for our children?
We know that learning starts in the home at the beginning of life. From a baby crying and learning they will be responded to by a loved one, to learning the safe way to cross the street, and learning how to prepare in the morning for school, learning typically starts with courageously exploring their world and developing conclusions and systems that answer their questions. Learning, however, does not stop in the home. As your child enters preschool and through high school or beyond, the school has a significant impact on not only their education but on how they perceive the world and develop as learners.
Traditional methods of teaching have developed the skills of memorization, busy work, and written test taking. This is far from the learning environment that engages a young child. Studies have shown that going back to the method of teaching through inquiry, curiosity, communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, we develop 21st Century Skills. This is what Project Based Learning (PBL) is all about.
Why does it take courage on the teacher’s part? PBL is learning through inquiry and curiosity. Children may take, and usually do, unexpected turns during this process. As teachers, we carefully design our curriculum to lead the students through the specific core curriculum. As a project unfolds, we may not get there in an expected way. We move out of the role of teacher, and into the role of facilitator, guiding the students to teachable moments and learning targets. Stepping back and allowing for inquiry and curiosity takes courage, both on the part of the student and on the teacher.
Creativity takes Courage is the theme for 2016-2017 at Hillside Academy. It will allow both students and teachers the opportunity to explore their own personal creativity, and give them the courage to utilize that creativity in new and exciting ways.
To read more about the benefits of PBL follow the link below.