PBL and Arts: Empowering Students to Craft Beautiful Work

PBL and Arts: Empowering Students to Craft Beautiful Work

>>Ahmet: Project-based learning at School 21 is put right
at the heart of education.>>Student: Here, put that
one there on the wall.>>Ahmet: Art brings knowledge,
stories, facts alive, so you get engagement from students. You get students caring
what they’re learning about.>>Student: Much better! Let’s do it one more time!>>Peter: I think one of the
big messages of this school is to do things in greater depth. We are passionate here about
crafting work until it is beautiful. And my Rule of thumb for the
products that we create here is, “Are you surprised that a
student that age has done that?”>>Teacher: So did you make it?>>Peter: I think project-based
learning is a very powerful way of getting quality work, and
makes a real impact on learning.>>Oli: The model that we’ve come to in project-based learning is we’ve
linked together what you might call knowledge rich subjects,
History and Science with performative subjects,
Music, Drama.>>Joe: Our cross-curricular
projects I usually want long. And so between 12/15 weeks. And they will have 300 minutes per
week in-between the two subjects.>>Joe: Your assignment
is to create a three- to five-minute immersive
theater performance, which is based around the
French or Russian Revolution. So you are responsible in your
groups for writing the script, for making the set, for
directing your own performance.>>Matilda: So I think the first thing
is we just need to run through it.>>Student: We need to also
get props and everything set.>>Joe: Project-based learning, to me,
is a backwards planning structure. So I go, “Right, what’s going
to drive this whole project? And what are we going
to produce at the end? And who’s it going to be for?” Then once you have that,
we then say to them, “Here are all the mini-deadlines
on the way.” They work in teams, they work
individually, they have problems to solve, they have information
to gather.>>Matilda: I really how we get a
lot of independence in our projects. Our play is about the soldiers, how
poor the conditions were for them, and so how appealing the
prospect of communism was.>>Student: [yelling] Get in,
and fall in the right hand side! Right now!>>Zaid: To fit all those key
events that happened in history in a five-minute play
is quite difficult.>>Student: [yelling at masked soldiers]>>Zaid: We were new to the fact
that it was immersive theater, and the fact that the
audience could not speak, but to feel that they were part of this.>>Student: We’re approaching Russia
where everybody will be free!>>Matilda: One of the things this
school values a lot is craftsmanship. So we keep on redrafting
everything that we do. We’ve been receiving
critique to help improve that.>>Student: It’s kind of rushed. So I think they should slow it
down, or space it out a little.>>Ahmet: It points them to the
direction of what needs to be improved, what’s not quite clear, where
they need to add more knowledge.>>Ahmet: Great guys,
really nice comments. I would like you got go and get–>>Emily: I’d argue that the
arts is project-based learning. Students are constantly
working towards an end product that will have authentic audience.>>Emily: We are a week
away from Exhibition. So what we’re going to do today
is make sure that all the aspects of this project is completely prepared,
edited, critiqued and ready to go.>>Emily: It’s the first time we’ve
brought Music and Science together. The essential question of the project
is “What Does Sound Look Like?”>>Heather: We’ve mapped out the
Science that we could include in that. So students have learnt about
sound, soundwaves, how it’s made.>>Emily: Over the course of the project
there we team teach all 40 students together; and there’ll be other
times we divide them in half.>>Heather: And I can’t say the kids
would have learnt the Science as well as they would have done if
it weren’t for the music. It’s so much more real, and it
becomes a lot less theoretical.>>Heather: Which of these bars are used
to describe the waves getting bigger?>>Aman: I think it’s quite fascinating
how science can actually be used to make music. I admit, I would get bored of
just reading a book about science. We learnt how you can be active
and learn at the same time.>>Emily: We wanted to find a way
of making a physical performance. So we constructed the Boomwhacker.>>Heather: So they were looking at
measuring different lengths of tubes to find out how that affected pitch.>>Emily: They were color-coded, Red
is C, Orange is D, Yellow E, etcetera. They can then see the visual
representation of how frequency works by the number of hertz when
they hit that Boomwhacker.>>Student: One, two, three, four, boom!>>Emily: Just to make it a
little bit more exciting, we discovered these amazing
Makey Makey devices, provided students are holding the
conducting part of the circuit, you can play notes through it. [notes being played] It also works
through water, which we’ve color-coded.>>Aman: So when you touch the water,
a sound comes out from the laptop. [notes played by touching
the water] We’ve been practicing for a really long time. And I want to see how it turns out.>>Matilda: We have Exhibition
Night at the end of every term. It’s a night where all the projects
we’ve been doing have come together and we show them to our
parents, to visitors, experts in the areas we’re studying.>>Student: [yelling] What are you doing? Why are you killing these
innocent people? They don’t deserve to die!>>Matilda: Having a real
audience is really important. It definitely helps you keep motivated when you know you’re
doing it for a reason.>>Aman: After all of that hard work
in the term, you get to like show it to the community, and
be proud of your work. [whistle blows; music]>>Emily: Bringing the arts into
project-based learning is great, because students can express the
content in a creative and physical way.>>Peter: I think the students, once
you’ve crafted something beautiful for the first time, then
you never look back. They’re getting a sense of
what excellence looks like. They’re getting all those qualities of
resilience and perseverance of thinking, “Well, actually, I really
have gone on a journey.” [music; applause; cheering; crowd noise]

4 thoughts on “PBL and Arts: Empowering Students to Craft Beautiful Work

  1. Holy cow this is amazing. Great work , these kids are gonna be brilliant in a couple of decades. Wish my school had been this fun!

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