DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 1
2017 Volume 36, Issue 1 12 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews One unexpected benefit was the new connections to their community, from a bee enthusiast to a local resident with a beehive, who is now a frequent visitor to the school. A local beekeeper shares his knowledge with the students Accustomed to programming and organising resources during the holidays for a ten week unit, Belinda acknowledged the fact that this approach challenged her traditional teaching style. Her honesty in describing her fear of moving into the unknown, not having a plan and not knowing what the result would be was refreshing and reflected the concerns of many teachers in the audience. Listening to her describe how the learning evolved, the strong connections to mathematics, science and technology throughout the process, and her concerns about programming and assessing student learning were powerful and challenging messages for all teachers. St Ives North Public School – the Firestorm Project St Ives North Public School is located in the leafy north shore of the Sydney metropolitan area adjoining the Ku-ring-gai National Park and has a proud tradition of academic excellence. It has a diverse student population of over 770 and values strong partnerships with the community. Students from St Ives North co-presented with their teachers at the conference, giving a real sense of validity to their project. As their school is located in a bushland setting, the impact of bushfires is an authentic issue for the students and the local community. Based on an authentic local area scenario, the students’ developed the driving question: How can the community of St Ives prepare for, survive or recover from a catastrophic bushfire event?’ Teachers explored the fundamental question with the students through open-ended problem solving strategies, which included the five elements of the design thinking process: • empathise • define • ideate • prototype • test. Ideation phase of the design thinking process This process highlighted the frequency of students discussing and debating alternatives when they grappled with the many aspects of problematic knowledge within the design process. Students were encouraged to work collaboratively in small groups with a design, create and develop focus. During this process, teachers guided the learning and observed student interactions.
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Volume 36 Issue 2