Are Your Class Projects Really Recipes?

Are Your Class Projects Really Recipes?

FINDING THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS: Computer science teacher and blogger Alfred Thompson warns us not to confuse class projects with class recipes. Borrowing from a quote by Chris Lehmann (founding principal at Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy), he observes that many class "projects" are actually recipes, in the sense that students are all producing the same thing. There's nothing wrong with learning by following a recipe, of course -- perfecting a recipe is necessary before tweaking to "individual tastes and desires." But the next time you're planning a "project," consider whether your students are learning through discovery or learning by following directions.

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