Learning about Good at Project Zero Classroom
From July 21st-25th, 2014 the Harvard Graduate School of Education hosted Project Zero Classroom (PZC), an institute for educators to delve into Project Zero concepts and see how they can better understand and meet their students’ needs as learners. Plenary sessions and mini-courses during the institute focused on topics such as creativity, comprehension, causal thinking, global understanding, and ethics. Sessions led by Good Project researchers allowed educators to examine ways in which issues of “doing good” arise in professional and personal realms.
Three mini-courses during PZC were taught by Good Project researchers. “The Good Project: Ideas and Tools for a Good Life”, led by Lynn Barendsen and Wendy Fischman, gave participants an overview of different Good Project initiatives and themes through interactive exercises and discussions. For example, findings on the importance of quality time from the Good Project’s Quality study were illustrated through an activity where participants observed alignments or misalignments between their personal values and the amount of time they spent on different activities during the week (such as work, commuting, spending time with family, etc.). A second mini-course, “Teaching ‘Good Work’ in the Classroom: An Introduction to the Toolkit”, was led by Shernaz Minwalla of the University Liggett School in Michigan and allowed participants to examine what Good Work means to them. Through this session, participants discussed what Good Work might look like in different vocations, explored their values, and deliberated on sample dilemmas from the Good Work Toolkit. Carrie James and Katie Davis led a mini-course titled “Cultivating Digital Citizenship – Strategies for Approaching Dilemmas of Privacy and Identity Online”, during which participants reflected on digital ethical fault lines – ethical issues that arise in the use of digital media – such as “privacy” and “identity”.
Two plenary sessions led by Good Project researchers discussed the influence of digital media on youth. Carrie James’ plenary looked at how dialogue occurs in digital spaces – such as commenting on social media – and digital dialogue can be channeled to develop our social and civic voices. Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ plenary featured findings from their books The App Generation and a recent Good Project study on creativity and how it has been influenced by changes in technology. Project Zero Classroom gave the Good Project an opportunity to connect with educators and share ideas for making “good” a priority in the work they do with students.