Using design methods and thinking processes (the “designerly ways of knowing”, as defined by Nigel Cross) as frameworks, and strongly grounded on a maker-learner-centred learning model, we will push for a new educational model. One that focuses on transdisciplinary learning through engagement with the world, instigating children to continuously inquire what is behind the design of things and how they have shaped and continue to shape our society. By doing so, we believe they will be empowered to re-create it.
FOUNDATIONS AND GUIDELINES
All the activities we offer and the projects we develop are based on the Creative Learning Spiral concept (Mitchel Resnik & Lifelong Kindergarten Group and the Learning Initiative I MIT Media Lab). They are driven by a Maker-centred learning perspective, and take Design practice as inspiration for methods-and-thinking processes or as lenses through which we can approach the topics of interest.
Although Design practice and thinking serve as important foundations and guidelines for the activities, we also make use of multiple learning methods according to the audience and objectives. This as a way to emphasise an interdisciplinary and multi-modal approach to reality and to increase overall learner engagement – taking individual learning dispositions and styles into consideration.
In this learning process, mentors and facilitators provide a sense of structure to guide learning, but children also learn through their interaction and participation with peers in fluid relationships as an effective way of developing skills and strategies. While encouraging imagination, creativity and the sharing of ideas among the students, we always set challenges and/or boundaries to the projects as well. These not only
work as constraints, but also to help as catalysts for novel perspectives and attitudes.
“Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.”
"We have to help students understand their context and capabilities in more holistic, interdisciplinary ways than ever before. We have to teach our students to become adept time travellers — to make sense of the past in order to envision new futures; to be sense makers of disparate types of information — moving seamlessly between what’s known and unknown; to flex their imagination in expansive and applied ways, and to become critical and contextual thinkers."
Laura McBain and Lisa Kay Solomon (In Educator as Futurist: Moving beyond “Preparing for the future” to “Shaping the future”, Medium, October 2020)
“(...) people of all ages are learning by doing, asking fresh questions, and working together to solve problems and seize opportunities. This (…) is a call to action to reconceive how we learn at all ages.”
Jonathan Fanton, former president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (In A New Culture of Learning: cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change, a book by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, 2011)