Friday, February 02, 2007

Best Field Trip Ever

Real learning should look more like this -- Project Happiness:
"Project Happiness follows a senior high school class from the Mount Madonna School near Watsonville, California on a journey to discover the true basis of human happiness. Joining them on this quest are the Tibetan and Indian students from the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala, India and the Dominion Heritage Academy in Jos, Nigeria.

Using the internet, video cameras, and other new communications technologies, the students will explore and create a new curriculum for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s book Ethics for the New Millennium."


Artichoke said...

Hi Jeremy, thanks for sharing this.

It is a startlingly different approach to the field trip. I love it.

I love the "happiness" theme, the collaborative context, the connections to real people and real places. It is simply breathtaking in its simplicity and at the same time so powerful.

The kids who participate will be changed forever. It reminds me of of a secondary teacher I work with in New Zealand who reckons we would have much more interesting kids if we replaced the whole Year 9 curriculum activities with a year spent walking the length of the North and South Island - from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

My mind is already crowded with ideas on how we could use this idea to explore some of the values/ competencies in our new draft curriculum.

Jeremy said...

You're so right -- it is breathtakingly simple -- in sharp contrast to the complexity and bureaucracy of school.

I LOVE that idea of taking kids on a term-long walk across the country. It boggles the mind to think of the real, contextual learning that would take place. Imagine kids experiencing that living lab of natural ecosystems, interesting people, the necessities and joys of food, communities, local economies...