We are in the season of Culminating Events! Why do we do them?
It is wonderful, as a parent, to get a peek into what your child is doing at school!
Often thought of by educational theorists as “performances of understanding” these closing events enable teachers to assess where kids are in their learning and growth pathway, and provide a way to bring closure to project based learning experiences. They give students a chance to practice courage when they share their work and speak in front of a group, and an opportunity to get input, answer questions, and take pride in their work.
Additionally, the “deliverable” of a culminating event – a play, Museum Walk, a graduation speech, a classroom expo on a theme, the IMPposium – creates authentic accountability to drive work towards a closing point ready for an audience.
Far more “real” than getting a grade (which can feel like judgment doled out by a teacher rather than a commentary on learning and growth), these events are ways students can lead others to see or experience their work in ways that are real. They also build community and are fun!
Here is a position paper about Promoting deep learning through project-based learning: a design problem. Project based learning and culminating events enable students’ learning to be retained, useful, and applied to real world needs.
Culminating events are part of our learning systems to tap – and keep alive – intrinsic motivation. Attendees participate – ask students questions about their thinking, process, and ideas. If you have a younger child, bring them to IMPposium to see what types of Passion Projects your child’s “big kid” friends are doing and get a glimpse into your child’s future Acera experience!