This post is #1 in a series of 10 posts that serve as extensions of the 10 chapters in Hacking Project Based Learning, which I coauthored with Erin Murphy. This post is an extension of Chapter 1, which focuses on establishing a culture of inquiry and creativity. #HackingPBL
For all of the posts in the series, tap/click here.
Before I left the classroom a few years ago, there were a few items on my bucket list I never got to accomplish (and I would have accomplished them had I taught for just one more year)…One of these missed opportunities was a complete redesign of my classroom.
You see, the final year I taught fourth grade, my students and I started our work in science by learning about the scientific method through the creation of original egg packagings with a process called design thinking. In short (ok, very short), students didn’t just engineer creative products, but they did so with empathy for the consumer in mind. And, they then assessed the effectiveness of their homemade creations based on what they determined to be the indispensable features of an exemplary product (while visualizing themselves in the shoes of the consumer).
My students enjoyed our design thinking work so much, following the egg unit and throughout the year I consistently told them something to the effect of, “Once state testing is done in April, I’ll give you a budget of a few hundred dollars and you can use your experiences with design thinking to revamp our classroom.” Nevertheless, for one reason or another, the overhaul never happened.