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How to teach Design Thinking & PBL right? Permaculture Ethics!!  RSS feed

 
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I work at a high school where every student has a laptop 10th-12th and an ipad in 9th and the teachers are encouraged to be Project Based Learning (I don't use labels because every teacher movement I've ever seen is flawed and limited, but I teach heuristically, design thinking, student centered, choice based, project based learning, collaboratively, iteratively, & skills-based (oh and I do comply with standards but don't focus on them as my students do better and better the less and less we focus on them as dry things). When a teacher can teach How and a student can choose What, things can get very exciting and engagement can skyrocket.

Now all these "things" are good, but they don't guarantee anything in all reality because they have no context... ethically.

This is why our public schools went south: no ethics. This is where I imagine Permaculture design thinking will really change everything socially.

If we have the 3 ethics guiding school behavior, activities, learning & creation, we will find over time a healthier, safer, more productive and happier society at large.

Example: In my class, a group assignment is to Create a Business (real or not, it has to be fully planned as if it will be real - several became real last year!). The 3 ethics would guide the project design. That simple twist creates a positivistic and action-oriented mindset in a social atmosphere of creative fun.

 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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This looks really cool, Matt! Can you share examples of the businesses, especially ones that became real? what have your students gone forward to do after your class? is there anything you could share with other teachers to help them get more ethics and context into the public school? (is your school a public school or not?) What example do you set your students (not meaning this to be a judgmental question, but I think teenagers only listen to the example an adult sets, they tune out the words...and I'm imagining you live by these ethics in your life, yes? Can you share about how you manage?) thanks!


Matt Powers wrote:I work at a high school where every student has a laptop 10th-12th and an ipad in 9th and the teachers are encouraged to be Project Based Learning (I don't use labels because every teacher movement I've ever seen is flawed and limited, but I teach heuristically, design thinking, student centered, choice based, project based learning, collaboratively, iteratively, & skills-based (oh and I do comply with standards but don't focus on them as my students do better and better the less and less we focus on them as dry things). When a teacher can teach How and a student can choose What, things can get very exciting and engagement can skyrocket.

Now all these "things" are good, but they don't guarantee anything in all reality because they have no context... ethically.

This is why our public schools went south: no ethics. This is where I imagine Permaculture design thinking will really change everything socially.

If we have the 3 ethics guiding school behavior, activities, learning & creation, we will find over time a healthier, safer, more productive and happier society at large.

Example: In my class, a group assignment is to Create a Business (real or not, it has to be fully planned as if it will be real - several became real last year!). The 3 ethics would guide the project design. That simple twist creates a positivistic and action-oriented mindset in a social atmosphere of creative fun.

 
Matt Powers
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My high school is half charter & half public:

http://www.minarets.us

I was subbing because I needed local pay (I stopped touring with bands as much to be closer to my family), and Minarets made me want to become a teacher. All the other schools I subbed at made me want to liberate the children and reorganize the entire school. At Minarets they encourage teachers to create their curriculum from scratch because everyone they hire understands their areas of expertise well enough. I think most schools don't have qualified people because A. there's no $ in this job and B. they have no freedom to teach properly.

I started doing Create A Biz last year when we started Kickstarter & Rapidprototyping classes opened up for 11-12th graders. I figured I'd prep them.

Here's some press on some results:

Sierra Star: Minarets Wins Big

Every 10-12th grade student has a macbook. They use things like FinalCutPro, iMovie, PhotoShop, 3D printers, iWork, Logic, Ableton & more I'm sure; I'm just the English teacher. It simulates 1:1 teacher:student because students can answer questions instantly and research as if with an expert. PBL, projects based learning, uses collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, authentic situations, presentation & bundled standards to accomplish engagement & rigor simultaneously. I actually teach teachers how to do stuff like this. I taught teachers about Essays for all Occasions and No HW & High Scores? As far as my students: I've been teaching only 3 years, so they are just starting their journeys. Last year I had 1 student start an after school youth personal soccer training program. I had two students start working and testing their idea: reforesting burned out national forest using birds and seed bells on sticks that had quick recovery species that would be spread by bird. They are going to pursue it this year in Kickstarter class. I can't wait to see it pay for their college classes!!
 
Matt Powers
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Example do I set... I try not to be the focus of the classroom: it's their classroom, their experience, not mine. I'm the frame; they're the picture. I personally live the 3 ethics as well as I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so I am a visible member of the community that dedicates their time to serving others. I don't think that is why they are engaged though...

Engagement: the classroom is about what they want to do or know; I don't dictate that. I use their own interests to craft a course in which I control & teach HOW not WHAT. That makes a critical difference.

I have a twitter account where I talk more on this as well as a blog:

http://www.twitter.com/teacherpowers

Teacher Powers Blog
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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thanks Matt!
 
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Hello Matt:

We are having a good talk! Just looking at your work in schools. I think permaculture is a brilliant curriculum and you need good observation, minimum of tools and awareness of different learners and interests. When Ive had a class in the environment - adults or children - I ask them what they can do for the bigger picture.
Some want to design, others to dig, some to write a poem and some stare and think and then ask questions, and the joker makes us all laugh. At the end we put together all our contributions as important - and see it as Distribute Surplus and Care of People.

I don't want them to all do the same because I'd love to be able to encourage ALL human potential and there is room for each one in permaculture.

It must be fun to be in your classes.

Warmly

Rosemary
 
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