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Re: What Makes a School (Classroom, Program) an "MI School (Classroom, Program)"?" Forum
2010/1/8 17:30
From Beijing
Registered Users
Posts: 26
We want to share a story posted by one of our Primary and Secondary Course participants Shada Francis:

Question:  Choose an existing unit (topic,project) that can be approached from an "authentic problems" perspective..

Answer:  The topic that we covered in our lesson was on “Charities”. We touched on a few charities that was part of our lesson i.e. Unicef, WWC. S.P.C.A.. Communities in Crisis. These were part of our Humanities lesson taken from our Text Book. Students were grouped and each group was asked to research one of the charity organizations and to produce a PPT, explaining in details about the Organisations and their objectives. The class was asked to vote for an Organisation that they would like to sponsor or help. Most of them chose Unicef and Communities in Crisis. Students were asked to go back and brainstorm ways and ideas that we as a class can come up with, to help an organization in China, with Real Life Problems like what we had just studied. Two days later they decided that we should help the Migrant Children in China. Question? What can we do? How can we help? Who is going to help us to further this Idea? What is involved, i.e. time and money. This project was “HUGE”. We sat and discussed how we will meet our objectives. We realized that we were now facing Real Life Problems and the children were becoming very involved so we needed to work together and come up with more ideas and plans to find an organization that shared the same vision that my class had. ( to help the migrant children).

Question:  Develop three new experiences that address your unit's goals using an authentic problems approach and that further pluralize the unit.

Answer:  To further pluralize the unit we managed to find an Organisation called the Giving Tree and we invited one of their members to school and she explained to my class what and how they help the Migrant Children. My class, a rather noisy class were so attentive and ready to take the challenge. We were told that Giving Tree will supply us with bags and each bag must be filled with 5 new winter items(not old items). This was their/our biggest challenge. We presented this to our parents committee, some of them were not very happy to buy 5 new items. Now we had a problem, so I met with my students again and this time called in my Grade 10 group and they were excited to help us, in the end the Principal heard of our project and announced it at the teachers meeting. Well, it took us 2 month to fill 150 BAGS with new clothes and we were given the name of the school where the migrant children were. The Giving Tree organization has a party on the day the bags are delivered to the children. We managed to get some teachers involved and our school bus carried us with the children and the Bags to the Migrant school. It was such an awesome experience to witness the giving of the Bags with presents to the children. Our children also met the migrant children and they played and had fun with them, they also met other donors. All this happened because we used an Authentic Problem/Experience and found Real Life Solutions to the Problems at hand.. My greatest moment was watching my students handing out the bags and seeing the joy on the migrant children’s faces. Just to let you know I have been invited to join GT, and now active member of Giving Tree and we were able to help meet the target set by GT which was to hand out 15,000 Bags to Migrant Children throughout China.

One thing I "see" is that by taking an Authentic Problems Experience and allowing the children to work with it we are giving them the tools to find answers to Real Life Issues. One thing I "wonder" is that how many educators allow their students to find ways to broaden out their lessons and allow children of all ages to be more Authentic and present Real Life Issues to the class.

To pluralize the topic I would like this project to become sustainable, so we can go back and have some contact with the school and the children. My students are looking forward to inviting some of the migrant students to visit our school, this is going to allow friendships to grow and to see how the otehr half lives and how each one of us can play an important role in teh upliftment of lives.

I wonder why schools do not use pluralization as a must in the educational system. I WONDER??? I "think" that using an authentic problems approach in developing (pluralization) classroom experiences, allows both the teacher and student to go deeper and find more meaningful answers. We allow our children to be better thinkers, problem solvers. It allows for a new Mind Set and a new generation of quality thinkers that are able to be part of Real Life Issues   and Problem Solvers. I think we are setting a trend using the Authentic Problem Approach in our classrooms.

Photos are attached below with this posting.

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Posted on: 2011/1/27 15:16

Edited by admin on 2011/1/27 15:53:58
Edited by admin on 2011/1/27 15:54:12
Edited by MII on 2011/1/27 16:36:24
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