Advantages and Disadvantages of our Model - as I see them

  • Students could choose topics that interested them
  • Teachers could choose topics we were passionate about
  • Topics were open-ended and included great opportunities to follow natural courses of curiosity
  • There was a lot of variety for students and teachers
  • It was a good replacement for student inquiry
  • Student agency is strongly encouraged and prized
  • The sharing part is motivational and an important part of the process
  • There was a constantly revolving group of students in each room.  This was really an issue in Te Wheke as it inhibited any sort of continuity.  Targeted students were identified and we were to focus mainly on them during workshops.  I think other students who also needed to be focused on weren't getting the teacher time they needed.
  • Time was needed to reorganise large numbers of students at the beginning or end of each week.
  • Tutaeporoporo (creativity) was often seen as a destination for some students to avoid their learning.
  • Tutaeporoporo became a place to go and use exciting equipment, rather than using exciting equipment to create something they had dreamed up.  Somewhat like the old computer labs.
Further changes were made the following term.  Paikea (Intense Inquiry) continued - and I believe students have had a really fabulous deal from their weeks in Paikea.

Students were now encouraged to apply to go into Tutaeporoporo.  They were to come up with a plan, seek approval and go for whatever number of days they needed.  This was good in principle and it worked particularly well with the higher independence level students with natural curiosity.  Because these students are good at entertaining themselves and working collaboratively, they have benefited a great deal.

I think there needs to be greater emphasis on using Tutaeporoporo resources to back up what kids are learning.  This wouldn't have to be done in a separate 'Creativity' space.  There also needs to be a greater emphasis on knowledge acquisition (not just looking at a Youtube video) and the project should preferably have literacy and/or maths links.

These are not just my opinions here - most of these have been discussed and agreed upon as a team and improvements will be made, even going back to previously discarded strategies such as putting graded workshops back into the maths programme.

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