After asking students to outline the steps that they will take to get materials and begin work on their Wikiseat, and after asking them to discuss their plans to document their work at home, I asked them to do write down a few learning goals that were more personal and over-arching. Following is the prompt, and a whole slew of responses that really impressed me. I'm especially glad to see the studentsreally investing in these goals. There is a real sense of determination in this writing and I'm starting to feel optimistic about our results.
I would like you to be very specific in telling me what you'd like to get out of this project besides a chair. What will you know about yourself and how you learn by the end of the project?
“When you first told us that we were going to be making chairs, I thought you were joking, or that we were going to make design ideas and send them to a chair company. It will be a big accomplishment for the people who complete this chair project, and I'm excited to see how these chairs look."
"I'll get if I'm good at building things. The only time that I can remember building things is when I was little and I played with Legos. I would also like to spend time with my grandpa, because I don't really get to see him that much lately."
"By doing this project, no actually by simply preparing to do this project, I've already learned that I'm still a procrastinator. I'd like to get out of this project most a sense that I'm overcoming that."
"I really hope to learn how to use my originality in school. I think I have a strong imagination. But since school , I haven't been creative with myself. I hope to put my imagination out there for the whole world to see."
"One thing I hope to learn is keep on working, even if it's a difficult exerience for me. Another thing I expect from this is to learn to be patient. I know this will take time, so patience will be a major factor in this."
"What I would like to get out of this project is to learn how to use old materials to make something new."
"I want to get out of this a sense of pride and knowing that it's okay to screw up thing sometimes. Not everything is going to be perfect but you can't let it get you down. I want to learn about myself that I don't always have to "go with the flow". I can stand out. "
"I'd like to discover a new side of myself. i want to find out whether i am the handyman or the guy calling the handyman."
"What I would like to get out of this project is to get the satisfaction of knowing that I have thought of this project that I thought to be really hard, then actually building it. At the end I will feel so proud of myself. I will know that if I put my mind to something I can accomplish anything."
"Besides the chair, I am hoping this is really going to help my learning and the way that I go about doing other projects and my school work. Usually, when I get homework or a project I don't think I can do or that I don't understand I kind of just ignore it and make a bunch of stuff up at the last minute. I want this to be over at the end of this project and I think I will learn that I can do something that I have never done before and succeed."
"Something I am hoping to get out of this project is to learn how to finish something I started, and to be proud fo myself and my work. I will know about myself by the end of this project that I learn better when things are more hands-on and fun."
"I hope this project increases my ability to operate tools and to learn to do more hands-on work. The designing of the chair is important because I don't want to make anything "normal", I want my chair to stand out so that instead of me looking at others chairs to see how to make mine they will do that with mine."
"I would really like to learn how to stick to a project once I start it withough giving up. Usually, when I do a project for school by myself, I wait to the last minute to get it up and it usually doesn't turn out well because I gave up during the process. When I do something that's not related to school that's difficutlt, most of the time I give up half-way through. I want to avoid doing that from now on and I feel like this project will help me reach my goal."
"What I'm trying to get out of this project is making an object all by myself and being able to stick with it. Even if i don't finish it I will not stop trying. Which I think is the real point of the project. At the end of this I will learn how to accept failure and to not give up. Chair or no chair."
"By the end of this project I hope to think like a real constructor would think and learn about being handy like a man. By the end of this project I am sure to figure out that things don't come easy. You have to really sit down and evaluate what it is that you want to, because sometimes just doing it as you go will lead you nowhere."
"The thing I want most out of this project would be spending time with my dad and having something that shows and will have memories of just my me and my dad doing something."
"I would like to get something that me and my dad did together and know that its homemade and not just bought and maybe someday I can show it off to my kids someday and tell then that anything is posible even if you dont know to do it."
"I have a pretty close relationship with my dad, but I'm hoping that it can grow through this project."