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Creative methods

Methodology: From/to

The prepositions of time “from / to” define the beginning and end of a project. Between them, the process is characterised by phases of change as a project evolves by steps, and this change may vary from a method to another. By looking closely, there are constants in the projects done with the students that can be analysed, communicated and used repeatedly. They are revealed in ten methods, which I will define later, being at the core of more than forty projects. Once they were made explicit, they started to lead to a structured experimentation. At times, a project may even have combined two different approaches. As designer and pedagogue, I have a vocation for experimentation and I am driven by curiosity for what students may do to respond to the challenges exposed at each step of a project. Methods guide them by posing a stable base on which their creativity may be unleashed. Methods also allowed students to see the work process as essential as the result.

 

For these methods to be applied, lessons had to be structured. The projects done with students from grade 4 and 5 lasted a period of six to seven lessons of forty minutes each while those done with grade 6 and 7 lasted three lessons each. Every week, students had to respond to a new problem individually or collectively that allowed them to progress in their project. A lesson was always formed of two phases, with fifteen minutes of language notions and art theory to half an hour of practice. In the last lesson, students were assessed and they could finish the unit by presenting their project orally and interacting with the rest of the class. Most of these simple projects were designed from scratch, by getting ideas from different sources of inspiration such as the Chinese and French programs, real-world problems, teacher's past projects and students' lives and interests among other references. Once projects were done, they were categorised as part of a method that would be perfectioned year after year.

 

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