Projects with room for student choice/ownership

Students report they feel creative when they have choice in how to express their ideas and knowledge.

Photo of David Palange
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Some feedback I received from student interviews with middle school students about when they feel creative:

1) I like projects. There is more freedom of choice in with projects. I like projects because you get to use information and creativity to learn.

2) I like electives because you get choice. I had a lot of fun in the Maker Studio elective  building a foundry. It ended up breaking but it was fun while doing it. I got to use different tools.

3) In 4th grade, I liked making models of how our school recreational area should be designed. We had lots of opportunities to make it how we thought it should be. We could also choose which section we wanted to do.

4) I felt creative when I built my drum set. There are lots of resources in the makerspace and I don’t feel limited. 

5) I feel creative in Math. There a whole variety of ways to solve a problem. 

Share insights you heard during your empathy work. Which empathy activities did you engage with? How did these activities impact your idea?

I interviewed three middle school students by asking the question: Tell me a time your felt creative at school. The big theme that came from these interviews was free choice and agency led to experiences where they felt creative.

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