Co-founder of High Tech High schools Rob Riordan talks about exhibiting student learning and the impact it has on the school’s culture
ROB RIORDAn: Exhibition is a really important part of the culture of the school in a couple of ways. One is that when we see each other’s work, we begin to appreciate our kind of collective efforts and value the work of others. The other piece about it is that, exhibition gives us a check on the quality and depth of our work.
We can see it, and when we had our first exhibition at High Tech High, for example, as teachers we were new to this process and some of the exhibits were really phenomenal, and others were so-so. I mean, there was a mix of quality in them. Kids were seeing the work of others, teachers were seeing the work of other teachers.
And so what happened was that in the second exhibition several months later, what was the ceiling for the first exhibition became the floor for the second because teachers were looking at someone and they were saying things like, wow, there are a lot of people looking at that exhibit over there of those kids, maybe there’s something over there that I can be learning from and doing next time around. So exhibition is a piece of the work of going deeper and of continuous improvement, as we move forward.