This class is packed with great information and “new” ways of learning and teaching. I say new because to a lot of us in the MAT program, it may be new to us, but a lot of it has been around for quite some time. There are teaching techniques that continue on but are adjusted and tweaked and elements are added to make them relevant to the subject at hand or to accommodate the situation. One concept here for a teacher is flexibility and an innovator. This reminds me of Scott Christian’s lesson on inquiry-based learning.
I thought it was an interesting way to include all of the kids and a lot of the community, from what it sounded like, into a book project. The book Away From Almost Everything Else: An Interdisciplinary Study of Nikiski was a project and a collaboration that many kids and community members will remember for a long time. To me, it makes sense to include many disciplines into the learning process and teaching method because it is how things happen in real life. Things are connected and overlap. The Interdisaplanry wheel, as used in Scott’s lesson, shows how an approach with many areas of study can fit around a common theme or central focus.
I enjoyed reading about the process and trials it took to gather the information for the book of Nikiski and the steps it took to produce it. I also like how the lesson focused outward into the community and brought them into the circle for all angles. I hope to incorporate something similar when I teach in the school.
One of the goals that I would like to accomplish is to work with students to produce a school paper of sorts that would expand out into the community, state or beyond. I have worked as a photojournalist for ten years and hope to bring some of that background, mixed with the “new” methods that I learn from this MAT program back to the students. I am excited to be a part of a teaching program that models great teaching strategies. Inquiry-based learning is one new method that I will carry with me to the front line of education. I will also expect to be flexible as Scott was when faced with some of the challenges of creating a book for a small village in Alaska. Learning starts with an inquiry and an open mind.