Purdy's Teaching Philosophy.
Below are some of the pedagogical techniques I believe in and practice in my classroom. In no way is my teaching static, but at the current time these are strategies I feel are student-centered and help to produce students who are problem-solvers, proactive, creative, and respectful.
Coalition of Essential Schools.
I believe in the 10 Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools, most of which are within my scope of influence and control:
1. Learning to use one's mind well.
2. Less is more, depth over coverage.
3. Goals apply to all students.
5. Student-as-worker, teacher-as-coach.
6. Demonstration of mastery.
7. A tone of decency and trust.
8. Commitment to the entire school.
9. Resources dedicated to teaching and learning.
10. Democracy & equity.
"The CES Common Principles are a guiding philosophy rather than a replicable model for schools." Founder Ted Sizer considered it to be "a conversation among friends."
My classroom is laid out with students seated in groups. Humans learn best in community (see the book Brain Rules by John J. Medina).
I also use pre-, formative, and post-assessments that involve presentation and peer critique. Students regularly share their work with one another (formally and informally) to spread ideas, techniques, successes, and failures.
Standards-Based Instruction, Assessment, & Grading.
See my grading and standards page.
Project-Based Learning & The Design Process.
I utilize project-based learning with a variety of media. Regardless of media, my students are learning and demonstrating proficiency in utilizing the elements and principles of design. I feel project-based learning allows students to be presented with a design challenge (or 'design problem') and they have freedom to solve the challenge in a variety of ways. Project-based learning allows my students to be creative problem solvers. One of my favorite parts of art is the reality that there are many "right answers" to the projects that we create.
All projects use the design process, which includes the assignments below: