A Concurrent Work on Idea, Design and Action: Technologies in Creative Inquiry Design
Two educational problems motivated this project. From the perspective of Physical Education, students often have difficulty understanding that physical movements could be improved upon in the same sense as theories or ideas are improvable. At the onset of this inquiry, some students expressed the belief that one is born with physical abilities or one is not: improvement is not a real possibility. From the standpoint of Science and Mathematics, students lacked experience in applying scientific methods and mathematics knowledge in concert to test theories and build understanding in authentic contexts. In this project we try to reconcile these gaps by introducing a technological layer to support the pedagogical approach that superimposed students ideas, their designs and the actions taken by them. The trajectory of idea-design-action work in a Gr5/6 class was traced in the study. This project made innovative blend of existing technologies to support a deep classroom inquiry integrating Science, Mathematics and Physical Education curricula. Students in a combined 5th and 6th grade class were given an authentic challenge: to find ways to improve their performance in the track and field discipline of long jump. The conscious effort to use technologies to preserve and treat students’ idea and theories (of how physical movements could be analyzed, considered and improved) as design blocks in determining the pedagogical moves effected a fluid integration of technological resources and content learning of various subject areas that increases both motivation and quality of knowledge work in class.
Keywords: Physical Education, Integrated Curriculum, Opportunistic Design, Knowledge Building Community
Research Assistant, Institute of Knowledge and Innovation in Technology, University of Toronto