In a recent assignment for one of Master’s courses I was asked to look at leadership, curriculum and their connections. Before starting this assignment I decided to have a discussion with my students about these two topics. When I asked the students about leadership they listed off people that you would expect to hear, such as the teacher, principal, and a coach. One student stated that they could be a leader as well, that leaders were not just adults. When I asked the students what they thought curriculum was the first thing students said was Connected Classrooms.
It was the discussion on curriculum that really got me thinking about how much of a role Connected Classrooms plays in daily classroom life. The Connected Classroom lessons cover many different areas including reading, writing, oral language, fine arts, technology, career and health development, as well as science and social studies in some projects. From Moodle, to shared lessons, to the inquiry projects, Connected Classrooms has become the new curriculum of these three classrooms.
Later in the day, during a Connected Classroom lesson, I looked around the room and noticed all of the leadership skills students had developed as a result of this Connected Classrooms curriculum. The students had taken total control of the lesson that day. The lead student had set up and turned on all of the equipment, was leading the discussion and moving around the room to allow other students to share, and was running the classroom laptop to share out the work that we had done. As the lesson continued I saw students trying new computer programs, students teaching and helping others with their PowerPoints, and sharing information with each other on their research projects. I was amazed at the leadership the students were demonstrating, and the confidence they were showing with that leadership.
The students see the learning and activities they do in this new curriculum as being some of the most important, and most enjoyable, that they do in the day. Looking around the room and seeing the learning that is happening, it is hard to disagree.