Following the Hero’s Journey theme of Collab Labs this season, our November session explored stepping out of the known world and dealing with uncertainty. Our discussion began with an exploration of the uncertainty participating teachers and students already deal with in school. That set some context for the next round of conversations focused on fears/worries about engaging students in open-ended challenges. We wrapped up the discussion with an inventory of strategies and practices teachers, students, and attendees from outside of K-12 have seen or use to manage uncertainty around projects — whether that is where the project will lead or how the team will get there.
This week we pulled those factors into a system map, connecting elements based on what we heard in the discussions. What’s striking, though not unexpected, is the importance of trust and open communication in all of this. It is what allows both teachers and students to take some risks, try something new, and be willing to accept and learn from efforts that don’t work out as hoped.
You can view the system map here, and we welcome your thoughts and input on what else we might include, or how we might better repent the dynamics at play. Those of you who have explored the map produced from last seasons sessions focused on feelings of safety and affirmation at school, will recognize a number of familiar elements. Going forward, we’ll be looking at how we can merge or otherwise use these maps and what we hear in upcoming Collab Labs to paint a more complete picture of the forces at play when we look to offer students the hands-on community-engaged learning experiences they deserve.
Next up on our Hero’s Journey, we meet the mentors and helpers as we explore what it takes to support authentic work. Join us on December 14th for Collab Lab 58.
Thanks again to our Featured Participants:
- Amber Henzig: Scrum Master & Servant Leader, Johnson Controls
- Kelsey Otero: Senior Director of Community Engagement, Marquette University
- Sean Campbell: Teacher at Pathways High School, Milwaukee
Thanks also to MSOE’s STEM Center for hosting the Collab Lab Series, as well as the students from Pathways High School and Bradley Tech who joined in person/on Zoom.