Teacher and instructional leader Margaret Haviland considers the value to students of exploring creativity within limits and the need to give them license to freely pursue their creative urges within those limits.
In mid-December, 33 tenth grade students, three teachers, assorted parents, and four guest judges gathered to watch the first ever Constitutional Amendments Film Festival at our school. The film festival was the largest and most complex research-based project of the three we’d done since school began this year. My colleagues and I had committed our students to two and one-half weeks of research, film creation, and film editing.
Over the summer, Voices blogger Margaret Haviland taught her first online high school course — a survey of US History in six and a half weeks! Margaret journaled about her experience at her personal blog. We found her account rich in useful detail. Any teacher about to embark on a first-time online teaching experience will likely find Margaret’s narrative helpful, so we’ve posted excerpts here.
Mock debates and school elections fail to give students a real voice and “a visceral understanding of what it means to participate in civic discourse.” Teacher and school leader Margaret Haviland is looking for alternatives. She’d like your ideas and advice.
The question becomes, how do we translate our history students’ understanding of past actors into action by young people today? In March we decided to chuck the traditional exam format and craft a project to help students make this connection and consider what it means to be an engaged citizen.