Featured Image CC-By: Tina D
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Throughout the past few weeks while listening to various groups present, one question kept popping up for me. That question was, how can we let students explore these different learning styles to use the one that best works for each individual, and do it in a way that each student will be able to enjoy it? This in turn made me think of something my Dad, who is a principal, came up with to implement for his school. This idea was to let each student ‘find their passion’, and then spend the year exploring and researching that passion. Thus, our group decided to explore the idea of allowing students to follow their passions at a deeper level. We decided to call it the “Passion Project”, something to implement at a K-12 level. The project allows for kids to pick something they love, or if they can’t pick one pick a few, to research, make things based on it, practice it, solve problems in the field of their passion, or anything else that allows them to explore it (while still being school appropriate of course) for one hour each week. One of the first things we did after we came up with the idea of the Passion Project was a discussion of the outcomes we wanted for the students, and the most important thing to us was making sure that the Passion Project was something that would get students excited about school and something for them to enjoy; we didn’t want it to be one of those school projects that they dreaded. We also wanted to make sure that kids understood that their passion didn’t have to fit into a neat little box or be something that everyone else likes, and in the process of creating materials for our Passion Project we stressed to how important it is to remember that everyone’s passion is different and will evolve differently.
Finally, one big take-away item that we learned from this assignment is that implementing something like a Passion Project has to be a school wide endeavor. It can’t just be one teacher or administrator trying to put it together; it has to be a team effort. My Dad was, unfortunately, the only one who was really working towards putting something like this into his school. Then, when he got busy with all of the things he had to do as a principal, the passions got pushed to the back burner. Thus, we believe that by giving each staff member a little part of the Passion Project puzzle, it can ensure that it can become an integral part of the student learning experience.
We can’t wait to share what we created with you guys, and hope that you will join us in the journey to let all kids explore their passions!