Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons in the Garden

Our garden is now ready for formal lessons with our students.  In the coming months, the teachers at MDFT will be spending a lot of time transforming their traditional classroom lessons into Project/Challenged Based Learning lessons.
We will not only create the lessons but we plan to write the books that we might need and also build all the learning materials.

This is a very ambitious project but with the end of the school term coming soon.  The teachers will have time to prototype some lessons but then spend the months of April and May learning new teaching methods as well as understanding the freedoms and possibilities of creating ones own customized classroom tools

One of the themes that we hope to develop and study next term is that of collaboration and team work.  Children that grow up in poor or needy communities learn quickly to fend for themselves.  Many times, the actions of providing for one's survival become increasingly self-centered and leave very little room for kids to think about actions that benefit their environments, their neighborhoods and communities as a whole.

Actions like throwing trash in the streets and not bothering with creating a beautiful space for themselves are common scenes in the environment our children come from.  People rarely work to benefit the group but are often focused in themselves and their immediate families.

We hope that our students begin to understand the power of working collectively and for a common good.   By first teaching them about the importance of their own roles in the Flood Garden, we hope that they will understand how each child's role is important to the group and to the goal.

students visiting the rabbit house s
The clean up crew making sure our gardens are clean and beautiful
MDFT's students are an important part of the future of Tanzania.  During their time with us, we hope to give them the tools they will need to improve their lives in the future.

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