We had some issues at the start of the week. Looking back on this, this was to do with the lack of connection to the company we had made for learners with the tasks they were doing. The lead into the tasks was too quick and was not framed in a way that allowed the students to re-enter the world of the company, and so they fell back into some routines that are not very conducive to learning.
At the end of last week, the students went on a EOTC trip to the museum. They were there to complete an audit on the museum. This came from the question "how can we ensure that our items for display are being treated with respect." Learners created a checklist for the museum and choose an exhibit to further investigate. They also participated in the museum classroom and were told that they were doing this to provide a report to the education officer at the museum, as after their most recent commission of providing lesson plans, they had insight into how these should run.
The students really enjoyed the trip, and the education officer provided an activity on digging for fossils that was very similar to the hook experience they had in week 1 - and the students were able to make connections between the two.
Upon returning to the class, learners were asked to complete a written report of their audit to be sent to the museum. This is were their disconnect started. I don't think the lead into writing the report, making connections back with the company, and framing the task was done in a way that positioned the students as experts. We jumped in too quickly and the students were lacking information around the task itself, how to complete and the purpose.
When this started going downhill, we moved onto completing the lesson plans now that they had experienced a museum classroom that might further their knowledge of what to include. However, due to the lack of engagement in the first task, and just clicking straight over into this - they continued to disengage.
For a moment, we drafted a letter from the CEO asking for a self review of their work to date. And then I stopped myself. Mantle of the Expert is about framing learners and their tasks in a way that fosters success and belief in themselves to achieve, to engage and to work for a purpose. If I start using that framework to be critical, I destroy the work they have done in building it up. We quickly deleted the letter and came back to our framework and to the company.
Turns out that Larry in IT needed to delete some files to create more space in our server. He had hyperlinked some sites for the staff to create P/M/I's on and decide if it was a helpful resource to the company. The learners slowly came back to us, and these were resources that we could refer to as we introduced our first major commission.
The next class saw the company receive their commission to create a road show on continental drift for Years 7&8. There were some requested stations, but there was scope for the class to include their own stations as well. The resources they had analysed for Larry the previous day provided a good starting point for the creation of the road show stations:
After a rough start to the week, with the reminder to always keep coming back to the company to ensure that connection with the work, the learners are re-engaged with the task and working towards some exciting road show stations. There is one group that has not re-connected and it is frustrating. I need to think of some ways to help them reconnect with the company and the work we are doing.