I wandered into 6S yesterday to say hi to Pete - he was the only teacher I hadn't had a chance to catch up with after being on leave. The activity going on with 55 kids and two teachers just washed over me like a forceful wave. Kids were constructing houses and aircraft hangars, testing buzzers and bells, researching their ideas on the net, and there were electrical wires, complex diagrams and Internet enabled devices everywhere. Every child was excitedly working on their project, chattering about it, studying it with frowning eyebrows, testing solutions and improving their product. Pete and Chris (6S's teachers) sat amid cardboard, aluminium foil, paint, textas and paper challenging their learners, raising new questions, and smiling.
This is big, messy, noisy learning at its best - this is real inquiry, real life learning; the type of learning that spawns truly long lasting, sustainable and impressive learning outcomes across a range of areas. Students are researching, reading, writing and calculating in a meaningful context with few restraints.
I love it.