At the venue, I walk into four displays of learners' work that stop me in-my-tracks. The entire entrance area has been transformed into Jurassic Park. I feel transported back to an era long gone but not forgotten. What strikes me too is the attention to detail, the colours, the effort - and all of this from their Grade 3s. Brilliant!
Lorrinda unpacks the project detail and lead up to the outcomes. All the Grade 3s received their brief, were taken to the Museum, and expected to do the following:
1. Make a 3D dinosaur
2. Use recycled materials
3. Research the animal
4. Decorate the model realistically
The learners were required to do an oral once completed.
What I like is the energy in the teachers and their high expectations of learners. Lorrinda explains how the Guide at the Museum was forced to "up-his-game" given the level of inquiry from the learners. They re-affirm the need to expect more-and-not-less from learners. It creates natural energy in learners to want to do their best. And more than their best we cannot ask for, but we must insist on their best!
Research into the relationship between teacher expectations and learner achievement showed that the "self-fulfilling prophecy effects of teacher expectations constitute an important affective variable in learning, yet one which is often overlooked. Therefore, teachers need to become aware of the potential negative consequences of communicating low expectations, and adopt strategies that will help them raise expectations and students’ performance". (English Language Teaching Vol. 3, No. 2; June 2010)
So, to Jo, Siobhan, Lorrinda, Dominique, Priscilla and Tania, thank you for stretching our children!