Students regularly filmed their improvisations
and rehearsals for review and reflection as a group.
Michelle Swanson comments on eco-mania: "We had been producing original work
for many years at Redwood High School and the quality of performance was always
exceptional. The scope of this work, however, brought issues of teaching and
learning into a new light. We discovered that the process of creating a play
is the process of the learning cycle--we had an idea, tested it, revised it,
and then used it to inform how we proceeded. We were able to work on both skills
and content in this context. We also learned that we could create an intellectual
framework for the whole school to study serious issues in an authentic context.
This was an early application of ideas that would eventually become the 6 A's
of project-based learning.
This was an incredibly empowering experience for students. They were responsible
for all aspects of the work. They learned to manage time, create and stick
to timelines, initiate and complete activities, multitask to deadlines, create
an artistic product, and make it all come together. In addition to all that,
for the audiograph they had to meet the professional expectations of earwax
productions and National Public Radio."