Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 25
conclusion and outcomes aligned to guiding
questions and organizational process.
Deliverable 4: Create an ideal track layout
that maximizes technical performance, efficiency and safety.
As students worked through their process,
they identified specific tenets they needed to
address, including science and math contextual tenets.
In addition to developing inquiry-focused
questions through math and science, the
deliverables were aligned to the seven survival skills provided by Wagner (2008). This
provided the construct to assess competencies and skills employed by students during
their process, as well as development of final
1. Critical thinking and problem solving.
2. Collaboration across networks and
leading by influence.
3. Agility and adaptability.
4. Initiative and entrepreneurialism.
5. Effect oral and written communication.
6. Assessing and analyzing information.
7. Curiosity and imagination.
Teacher roles: Beyond direct instruction
Key instructional shifts had to be made
in order for this project to be fully realized.
Many of the shifts put teachers in a variety
of different roles that transcended the classroom direct instruction approach.
A small group of teachers gathered to discuss the potential of the project. We had rep-
resentation from multivariable calculus, AP
physics, geometry, foreign language, journalism and video production. In this meeting, we authored the essential task of building a dream Supercross track to be placed in
Anaheim Stadium that would enhance spectator enjoyment as well as maintain safety
for the riders.
The conversations that took place in that
meeting were nothing short of extraordinary. Listening to educators think outside
the box and begin to weave different content
areas into the concept framing of the unit,
we knew we were on to something – not just
from the learner engagement standpoint,
but from the teacher disposition as well.
Teachers were talking pedagogy in ways I
had never seen, let alone considering that the
conversations were happening around the
sport of motocross.
The most challenging part of the discourse was handing the learning over to
students. Once an idea was brought to the
group, the instant reaction from teachers
was to solve the problem instead of stepping
back and creating the conditions for students to engage in it.
At the end of the day-long planning session, three variables were created for students without any prescribed outcomes
attached. Once students completed the
product and outcome, they would be tasked
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