Friday, September 11, 2009

Developing the Five Minds for the Future

Mr Steven Wong from Ngee Ann Secondary School shared the pedagogical approach his school has approached in teaching about the five minds by Howard Gardner through the use of Second Life.

The five minds are:
  1. Disciplinary
  2. Synthesising
  3. Creating
  4. Respectful
  5. Ethical
The project that the school embarked on came about from the idea of an Art teacher who wanted to incorporate mediated immersion based on the idea of an art gallery. This project thus develops the disciplinary mind. Based on this idea, they created their Get SmART gallery in Phase 1 of their island development and posted copyright-cleared pictures in the gallery that required students to communicate their responses based on Thinking Routines (I see, I think, I wonder) about those pictures. They even created a virtual representation of one painting so that students could immerse themselves and predict the emotional states of the painter. One of the ways Steven proposed assessing thinking is by the Six Continua.

In Phase 2 of their island development, they have purchased the teen grid in Second Life and built their own SuperNAS Adventures, a city with their own superheroes (one male and one female - fashioned after the popular Iron Man and Phoenix from X-Men). This project develops the ethical and respectful minds as students make certain choices and decisions based on the scenarios built into the island (e.g. a warehouse catching fire and who to save first).

This is interesting as the structure and elements of games are incorporated and students would be excited to take on the avatars in exploring the city and solving problems, but at the same, questioning their own personal beliefs and values.

One learning point I got from this presentation is that we should think about how the technology/tools/applications could help us teach the discipline in a more effective an engaging manner, so that students think more deeply about the subject matter and pursue understanding at a conceptual level.

We have much to think about as a school but I am hopeful :)

No comments:

Post a Comment