Thursday, March 29, 2007
Remote Access: Studio Classrooms and Flow 
Great post from Remote Access: Studio Classrooms and Flow
"Studio work involves lengthy periods of time where the kids are concentrated on one project or one issue. We may start off together in a group discussing hot issues from the previous day or with me teaching a new skill or concept, but we move as quickly as possible towards the kids being active as creators, designers, and researchers, this being our focus."
Doesn't that sound fantastic? How many students in "normal" classrooms are getting to do these essential things? Clarence floated this idea last year, and it triggered some reflection on my part. At that time, he was partly lamenting the dichotomy between real learning and jumping through curriculum hoops:
"In our splintered systems where kids need to "cover" hundreds of outcomes in a single school year, the studio may provide too much depth and not enough breadth to make legislators happy. Make no mistake about it, kids can focus and be creative for long periods of time if they are working on issues they are concerned with and about."
Now it sounds like he's doing it anyway. I wonder how? Chucked the curriculum? Managed to blend a bunch of subjects together and devoted whole days to projects?

Thanks to George for the pointer...

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Studio work DOES sound fantastic! I have had similar experiences through the use of Project-Based Learning in both “normal” classrooms and in “at risk” classrooms. I found this approach to be advantageous for all types of learners. Rather than “chucking the curriculum”, I was able to incorporate the curriculum. I found that the depth of the children’s learning far exceeded what the standard curriculum proposed. It is important for the teacher to be a facilitator who scaffolds the learning potential for each child. Hence, a Studio Classroom would certainly appear to support an environment in which the children and the teacher learn from, and with, each other.

I like the idea of studio classrooms. I would like to think I would learn well that way, but I am afraid I would still want some more direction from a teacher. I know that I could get used to it, though, and manage to take care of things myself. That being said, I do not know that it is right for elementary classrooms. I think you may be able to do certain units in this format, but I feel elementary students still require direction and more specific guidelines from the teacher.

Studio work does sound very engaging and quite simply, fun. Too often I feel that students are not allowed to apply the new knowledge they have learned. I feel that educators need to find a way to first get the information across to the students, but then LET THEM USE IT! This will not only act as a form of assessment, but will also reinforce the skill to the students.

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