Tales from the Tinkering Table Part Four: Scaling Up at “FOL”

This interactive addition to the Future of Learning tinkering table encourages participants to make their own thinking routines. DIY thinking routines? We love it! #hgsepzfol

This interactive addition to the Future of Learning tinkering table encourages participants to mix, match, and make their own thinking routines. DIY thinking routines? We love it! #hgsepzfol

If you’ve been following our series of blog posts about the Project Zero tinkering table, you’ll know that for months we’ve encouraged Project Zero researchers to think with their hands by accessing the materials we’ve laid out for them at PZ’s office in Cambridge, MA. This week presented us with the unique opportunity to share our tinkering table with a larger audience at the Project Zero Future of Learning institute #hgsepzfol. With over 200 participants and 40 faculty members from around the world, “FOL” has served as an exciting  venue to learn more about how working with tactile materials helps people articulate complex ideas and flesh out their thinking.

While participants eagerly listened to the opening plenary session on Monday morning, Edward and I “craft-bombed” a series of tables outside of Askwith Hall at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When participants emerged from the opening session, a bounty of tactile materials awaited their imaginations. Some folks jumped right in, cutting, taping, creating. Others took materials home with them and tinkered late into the night after the long day of courses and learning groups. Others still brought our materials to their learning group sessions where they engaged in tinkering activities with their colleagues as they collaboratively made sense of their experiences. Each day we found new whimsical treasures added to the tinkering gallery. Below is a brief view into the Future of Learning tinkering table. All very cool stuff!

While participants were listening to the opening plenary session, the Agency by Design research team was hard at work "craft-bombing" the Future of Learning institute. #hgsepzfol

While participants were listening to the opening plenary session, the Agency by Design research team was hard at work “craft-bombing” the Future of Learning institute. #hgsepzfol

The Future of Learning tinkering table, open for business... #hgsepzfol

The Future of Learning tinkering table, open for business… #hgsepzfol

50 Fuzzy Minds for the Future? A funky Future of Learning tinkering made especially for Howard Gardner. #hgsepzfol

50 Fuzzy Minds for the Future? A funky Future of Learning tinkering made especially for Howard Gardner. #hgsepzfol

My perception, your perception, our perception. A 3D articulation of various points of view hangs above the Future of Learning tinkering table. #hgsepzfol

“My perception, your perception, our perception.” A 3-D articulation of various points of view hangs above the Future of Learning tinkering table. #hgsepzfol

Many participants combined words and craft materials to create visual representations of the various conversations going on throughout the Future of Learning institute. This tinkering toys with shadow to encourage meta-looking and the consideration of multiple perspectives. #hgsepzfol

Many participants combined words and craft materials to create visual representations of the various conversations going on throughout the Future of Learning institute. This tinkering toys with shadow to encourage meta-looking and the consideration of multiple perspectives. #hgsepzfol

Like all trees, this Future of Learning tinkering table tree encourages the nurturing of thinking and learning. #hgsepzfol

Like all trees, this Future of Learning tinkering table tree encourages the nurturing of thinking and learning. #hgsepzfol

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About Jessica Ross

Jessica Ross is a senior practitioner specialist working at Project Zero on the Agency by Design Project. Jessica was a founding team member of the Global Learning Charter Public School, where she taught grade 5-8 humanities for ten years. A licensed principal, she has also served as Title I Director and English Department Chair. Jessica graduated from Hunter College with degrees in both elementary education and history and is currently completing a master’s degree in Professional Writing at UMass. Her passion for teaching was recognized in 2007 when she was voted Teacher of the Year by the Standard Times and Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. Since 2006, Jessica has participated in and facilitated numerous Artful and Visible Thinking workshops in Costa Rica, Amsterdam, Cambridge, MA, Rochester, NY and several other locations throughout the U.S.; she is currently the Assistant Education Coordinator of the Project Zero Classroom Institute.

2 thoughts on “Tales from the Tinkering Table Part Four: Scaling Up at “FOL”

  1. Pingback: Tales from the Tinkering Table Part Four: Scaling Up at “FOL … « GHBrett's General Store

  2. Pingback: Articles of Interest August 9, 2013 « National Creativity Network

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