Making Learning Visible at Boston Children’s MuseumBy Stephanie Kacoyanis
Project Zero’s Making Learning Visible team (Mara Krechevsky and Melissa Rivard), together with the Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Department, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Wheelock College Documentation Studio, presented a unique event called “Kids are the Experts!” on June 1 at the Children’s Museum. “Kids are the Experts!” showcased over 200 “how to” books and other materials written by 3-5-year-old children in the Boston Public Schools.
The event represented the culmination of two Making Learning Visible courses attended by 38 early childhood teachers from the Boston Public Schools and Head Start Centers. The course explored how to help children identify and communicate to others their areas of expertise through words, images, and demonstrations. Over 300 children created “how to” projects that helped develop their language, literacy, math, and communication skills, as well as teaching them to collaborate with each other through offering and receiving feedback on their work. In the words of kindergartners from the Gardner Pilot Academy, “Some kids [don’t] know how to do things like we know how to do, so we can just teach them. If we show them, maybe they’ll show another kid.”
Friday night’s event featured student presentations on their books, written on a variety of topics, including “How to Eat with Chopsticks,” “How to Fly like a Super-hero,” and “How to Have a Pie-Eating Contest.” Boston Children’s Museum CEO Carol Charnow and Massachusetts Early Childhood Commissioner Sherri Killins also joined in the fun, presenting books on “How to Be the Boss of a Museum” and “How to Be a Commissioner,” respectively.
“Kids are the Experts!” drew hundreds of students and their family members, many of them first-time visitors to the museum.
For a short video about this event, please visit: http://vimeo.com/43219548.
Project Zero is an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Project Zero’s mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels.