What happens when teachers build a rich foundation and then let students take charge of their own learning? This issue of UnBoxed is full of reflections on such unpredictable processes. Jeannine West Paull recalls an unexpected turn in an elementary astronomy project that she decided to let run, with surprising results. Sharon Fargason, Melissa Han, and Sarah Imbriaco reflect on what it means to be well behaved—in the adult world, and the world of elementary school. In a companion article, their student teachers, Aleya Cunningham and Roxanne Truong describe how their ideas about teaching and learning were turned upside down. A team of teachers and students from High Tech High Media Arts document how they disrupted traditional school hierarchies by using students as instructional coaches for new teachers.
Pam Baker shares suggestions for improved collaboration among teachers and students, and Don Mackay shares a devilish plot twist to impel such collaboration. Mike Amarillas reflects on the structural factors that kept students from succeeding in his previous teaching job at a large comprehensive high school. Finally, researchers from the American Institutes of Research report on results of a multi-year study of the impact of deeper learning practices on students and faculty, data we can all put to good use!
The UnBoxed gallery of “cards” in this issue offer glimpses of projects we find inspiring. These cards are freely available on the UnBoxed website in a printer-ready format. Simply print, fold, share and discuss. We wish to thank the teachers and designers of these projects for sharing them.
Thanks also go to the K-12 and university educators who have reviewed submissions for this issue and offered invaluable counsel. We invite all of our readers to join us in conversations about purpose, policy, and practice in education by submitting an article or serving as a peer reviewer.
Our next submissions deadline is October 1, 2016.