During our "Everybody Has a Story" Documentary Camp this past summer, one of our students, Toby, approached a man painting fisherman shacks on Widgery Wharf. Toby was hoping to interview him about the wharf's history. What resulted from that interview and subsequent visits to the wharf, first with pen and paper, then with camera, was the story of this man, Jackie Grant, and his life on the sea. Toby told me that he realized that everyone, no matter their job, age, lifestyle or outward appearance, has a story to tell. He was surprised at the kindness and openness of Jackie Grant and how easy it was to talk to him and get to know him. I believe those 21 students, aged 12 to 18, felt more a part of the community at the end of that week than they had before. Toby's multimedia piece created with audio and photography went on to place as a semi-finalist in the 2012 New York City Digital Waves Youth Media Festival Multimedia Slam put on by WMPG's Blunt Youth Radio Project and WNYC's Radio Rookies.
Ron Berger from Expeditionary Learning demonstrates the transformational power of models, critique, and descriptive feedback to improve student work. Here he tells the story of Austin's Butterfly. 1st grade students at ANSER Charter School in Boise, ID, helped Austin take a scientific illustration of a butterfly through multiple drafts toward a high-quality final product.
This video is one of 27 videos that accompany Expeditionary Learning's new book, Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-Engaged Assessment. For more information visit: elschools.org/leadersoftheirownlearning.