This afternoon I had the great pleasure of watching a number of student created documentary films. These films engaged students with various aspects of our local community through an exploration of both historical and contemporary Shanghai.
As we strive to enhance the quality of learning for our students, we look for ways to
- Develop key knowledge, understanding and success skills,
- Engage students with a challenging problem or question,
- Ask students to investigate that problem or question over a sustained period of inquiry,
- Engage in authentic learning that connects to the world outside of SAS,
- Make choices that influence the direction of their learning within certain parameters,
- Reflect on their process and product,
- Receive constructive critique from others in order to enhance their learning and the products that showcase that learning, and
- Share their products with a public audience.
Today’s Film Festival was the culmination of one example of this enhanced approach to learning, and what I observed today were students who were excited about their learning, not because of their grades, but for the sake of the learning itself.
A huge thanks to Kirk Irwin, Melanie Ryan, and Azul Terronez who brought this learning to life with our students. Additional thanks go out to the other grade 7 and middle school teachers who supported this project including today’s film festival, to the PTSA parents who partnered with us to make connections with professional film makers, and to all of the parents who came to watch the films.
I am confident that we will have many similar opportunities for students to engage in this level of learning and for parents to join us in celebrating it.
Dr. Theron J. Mott, Middle School Principal