It was great to see how other people are taking on the same challenge of re-inventing K-12. The schools represented in the group have a lot of different approaches and focuses: some are just Middle School, one has an inter-generational element, some are urban, some are suburban, one is designed for home-schoolers...But our similarities far outweigh our differences. And our hope is that in coming together, we can collect our individual voices and form a movement, creating a shared vision and thus enabling a bigger impact.
While the struggle of boys in traditional school models is made clearly evident to parents, that of girls is not nearly so visible. For one thing, girls are socialized early to meet and exceed expectations of “good behavior”. Girls in traditional schools demonstrate daily the skills they have spent their preschool years mastering: compliance and competence. Their early expertise in self-regulation (raising one’s hand before speaking, taking turns) comes at the expense of self-confidence, inhibits risk-taking for fear of failure, and undervalues pushing boundaries.
For the communication unit, Group 1 began by exploring books, stories, and the magical journeys inside. Excited to act out favorite stories, we learned about how setting, character, and plot make up a story, practicing the ways that artists communicate these aspects of stories.
At schools like HLS and Portfolio School, PBL prepares all students female and male, but I would argue it’s particularly important for girls hardwired to always try their best. PBL prepares girls to succeed in both the classroom and the boardroom by giving them the confidence to take risks and fail and it socializes them to excel in a magnificently imperfect world where confidence matters more than competence.
When a child enjoys coming to school, everything is possible. While filming interviews for Exhibition Night, we asked our students what they liked about their school. This is what they had to say.
Here’s an idea I’m exploring. What if we could use AI to get information about children’s projects. So instead of using standardized tests to measure learning, we can use AI to gain a better understanding of what a child can actually do with all the knowledge gained at school. We don’t need to know how well a child can retrieve the algorithm for long multiplication. We need to know if children understand how to use it for real situations they care about, not for a hypothetical imposed test question.
Every time children create a project they are consciously engaging in constructing a public entity (e.g., an artifact, document, or artistic exploration). This entity represents a piece of the children themselves—their thoughts, their feelings, their adventures, and their learning.
Say the word “autumn” and you evoke images of brightly-hued leaves, baskets of apples and harvests of pumpkins. In New York City, especially for parents of four-year-olds and older students looking to transition next year, you also provoke anxiety about the admissions process: when can you visit schools, what will they require of you and of your children, how can you tell if a school is the right school for your child and your family?
On September 24 we welcomed two inspiring thinkers to our community. Ned Johnson and Bill Stixrud have written a book, “the self driven child,” that has been getting a lot of attention and praise all over the place. The book also caught our attention at the school and we invited them to come to speak to the Tribeca community.
Portfolio brings the d.school experience into elementary school and seeks to redesign the meaning of creativity in formal learning.
Watch "Adventure to Mars" a movie by the students of Portfolio School that premiered Feb 15th, 2018 at TriBeCa Screening Room. A wonderful night to celebrate the learning and creativity of our last project unit about Mars.
Core to the Portfolio experience is engaging with talented professionals, co-designing ambitious projects in which we apply our learning and express our creativity. Meet some of the talented folks with whom we have created.
Our children now know that what they are creating and learning is interesting and people will want to learn from it; that their knowledge is worth sharing not just to the school community but to the world.
Exploring community, angles, our solar system, and more. Happy Holidays to ALL!!
Last Week at Portfolio: sequences, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, presenting who we are to the school, and more...
This Week at Portfolio: What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be me? Creating lessons for Google Science Journal App, a trip to New York Hall of Science, and more.
It's been a busy few weeks, with a successful "Work-in-Progress" night shared with families.
It was a week of celebration, creativity, and community bonding - Portfolio style! Check out who visited us to celebrate, create, learn, and play!
"When we listen, we learn more.
Be patient, kind, and respectful.
Try your best. If you hit a small problem,
it’s no big deal."
- from Portfolio’s Kids Constitution