Summer Teaching Institute Reflections, day 5

July 24, 2015 by Joshua
in Creativity, Education, Leadership

I’ve written about inquiry-driven project-based learning and learning leadership and entrepreneurship. It’s a style of teaching that’s one of the main foundations of how I teach and coach leadership. It’s different than lecturing. Here’s why I avoid lecturing when I lead and teach.

This week I’m attending Science Leadership Academy’s intensive Summer Teaching Institute. Science Leadership Academy is a school founded on inquiry-driven project-based learning, so it’s one of the best places to learn it.

To help reflect and share what I learn, I’m posting daily notes here.

Day 5

  • Presentation
  • Revise vision statement

Today we presented our unit plans. Everyone had fifteen minutes to present what they created over the past few days, though we’ve all taught our courses before.

Everyone started with a representative exercise. All were engaging, all transitioned from personal to general, applicable, or something beyond the classroom while still connecting with your life.

I was happy with the unit plan I came up with. It still needs work. I also started working on other units.

Post institute revision to my vision statement

I learned a lot this week but I think it’s only gotten me to the starting point of practicing. I learned a lot the past few semesters practicing what I learned at EduCon about inquiry-driven project-based learning, but those weekends didn’t comprehensively cover how to teach.

This week I learned how to create a unit plan, practiced effective exercises, saw people teaching in this style, learned how they prepared the unit plan for this institute, watched and collaborated with others learning similarly to me, talked with students who have learned this way for years, saw students lead sessions this way, saw a physical environment where the style of teaching was practiced, saw students’ results of their work including videos, photographs, web pages, poems, essays, outdoor murals, etc, and more…

… but I haven’t practiced teaching students this way. I haven’t made mistakes, recovered from them, saw students react, and all the other things that come with experience. That’s what I mean being at the starting line. Now I have to practice.

Also, I focused a lot on administration in my original vision statement—creating a new school for leadership. I plan to focus more on teaching. I think teaching effectively will create the most progress on administration.

The mind map for my unit plan

To navigate

  • use arrow keys or click white space and drag to move the map
  • click the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ icon at the top to resize the map
  • click the “fit” icon at the top (to the right of the ‘-‘) to fit the visible part of the mindmap in the space available
  • click nodes  in the mindmap to show or hide nodes beneath them — dragging, resizing, or re-fitting as necessary afterward

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