Project-based learning is an integral part of the curriculum at Maharishi School, a private boarding and day school in Fairfield, Iowa. Each quarter, students have a choice between several project courses and are also free to design and execute a proposal of their choosing. Last year Upper School teacher Mark Wilkins offered raku ceramics as a project option, and we want to share the process and results with you! Click here to watch a video of the process and results!
As you can see from the film, a project-based curriculum is an ideal platform for interdisciplinary learning. In this particular class Visual Art, Industrial Art, and English, three disciplines that would be separated in a more traditional setting, were incorporated into one. Students not only learned how to create an unusual and beautiful type of ceramics, they also learned new construction and carpentry skills and improved their writing through documenting the process used to create both kiln and ceramics.
In addition to the more measurable academic and physical proficiencies students gain from each project, they are busy learning soft skills sought after in the 21st-century job market. This skill set includes internal and external abilities cultivated through trial and error, experimentation, and teamwork. Planning, communication, negotiation, cooperation, collaboration, tolerance, and self-evaluation are just a few of the skills learned and reinforced with every project our students undertake.
Maharishi School offers project-based learning kindergarten through twelfth grade, it's an integral part of what makes our students creative, knowledgeable, confident, and prepared for the future!