As the MIT Regional Lead for Southeast Asia, I was lucky enough to attend an exciting new professional development initiative through NAE at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this summer.
Nord Anglia and MIT share a passion for challenging the existing pedagogy and striving to find new teaching practices that can better equip our students for a future world. Together we have identified several concepts that we believe are essential for teachers to consider as areas for innovation. These concepts were the basis for the sessions conducted during the MIT summer professional development (PD) week and will be a focus for all of the involved teachers as they return to school next academic year and put into practice some of these exciting ideas.
All attending teachers were given a taste of what it’s like to be a student in a project-based learning environment. Teachers formed groups and worked all week on open-ended projects based on some of the challenges that are scheduled to be undertaken by NAE schools in the upcoming academic year. Some of the outcomes included cyclist-detecting car doors, smart traffic cones that communicate directly with self-driving cars, a comparison of the emissions from conventional fuels and biofuels represented through a data sculpture and many other innovative ideas. The experience offered great insight into the student experience and helped identify some of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of learning.
John Vivilecchia, programme manager of MIT’s Beaver Works, shared his experience of involving high school students in hands-on projects through the Beaver Works Summer Institute.
Students take responsibility for forming their own project teams and are encouraged to model real-world organisational models by filling various roles in the team.