What inspires us? What persons, places and projects inform our thinking and our lives as teachers and learners? How do these influences find expression in our pedagogy? In the Unboxed interview, Eleanor Duckworth, a profoundly influential teacher and teacher educator, discusses important persons and places in the evolution of her commitment to teacher-learner dialogue and the “liberation of ideas.” Cindy Jenson-Elliott, Pam Baker, and Noah Schlottman discuss the power of particular places as anchors for engagement and learning—San Diego’s Tecolote Canyon, Dachau, and the Center for Human Development at UCSD, respectively. Brittany Joslin, a first-year teacher, draws inspiration for her own teaching from the memory of a project she experienced as a fourth-grader.
The theme of learning and teaching as dialogue persists in articles by Parag Chowdhury, Eusebio Travis Sevilla, Alicia Crump, and David Stahnke, all focused on finding ways to bring student voice into efforts to convey and understand critical concepts in science, math, and art. Randy Scherer, John Bosselman and Jenny Morris address issues of voice and audience as they discuss their collaborations with students to create, share and exhibit work of lasting value. Lillian Hsu and Laura Webber consider teacher-learner relationships more broadly, discussing alternative notions of the roles teachers and students may play in authentic learning.
UnBoxed readers may peruse the journal while simultaneously viewing video and linking to websites, all with the use of your smartphones. To get started, simply download the free Microsoft Tag application on your phone. Then, wherever you see a “tag” or icon, open the application and scan it with your phone’s camera. A website, video, or document will appear. Now it’s even easier to learn more and to see the work in context.
As usual, we have created a set of UnBoxed cards that offer quick, concrete glimpses of projects we find inspiring and practices that support teaching and learning. These cards, which constitute our photo essay for this issue, are freely available on our UnBoxed website in a printer-ready format. Simply print, fold, share and discuss. Each card refers the reader to a web address where further information is available.
Read, enjoy, and participate!