Visit from The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, Washington D.C.
“I loved the way he referred to Project-based learning as the structure, design thinking as the process and wisdom, as the result. Coming from a person who has done so much research in creativity and imagination, it was delightful to see how he plays with words”
Dear Merici Community,
It was a truly remarkable occasion as we met together yesterday to listen to Charles James and how he described our transition towards becoming an innovative school.
The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning has become a top pedagogical research and practice center, gathering some of the most prestigious and recognized authors in MBE Sciences (Mind, Brain and Education Sciences), along with Design Thinking. This center, of which Charles is the director for Design Thinking and Innovation, has shared with us how to develop PBL (Project/Problem based learning) and how to bring forth the skills that will help our student be onboard as the 21rst Century makes its way, with all its challenges and opportunities.
Charles started by showing appreciation of our work in developing a curriculum to make students become more critical thinkers and problem solvers, and urged us to put everything into a more integrated pedagogy. All of the above departing with units that are triggered by open, powerful questions which, in turn, ignite curiosity and imagination through an empathetic process that draws from real human needs and problems.
I loved the way he referred to Project-based learning as the structure, design thinking as the process and wisdom, as the result. Coming from a person who has done so much research in creativity and imagination, it was delightful to see how he plays with words:
Design is the mindset,
Creativity is the magic,
Imagination is the root,
Humanity is the purpose,
Innovation is the outcome.
As he well said, we must “dare mighty things”, even more so, under the circumstances we are living in, worldwide.
It’s been quite a hectic beginning of March. Lots of projects, workshops, parents’ conferences and end-of-term assessment for students. Amid a shared feeling of weariness that we have experienced during these difficult times, there is now a clear beacon of hope as talks with other schools and authorities have begun to bring solutions to the table that might offer safe alternatives for us to be back at school soon. Promise to keep you posted!
Keep well, keep learning, keep positive.
Prof. Alfonso García Williams.