Since 2010, we have been developing this project through teaching and learning work at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and we have noticed significant learning outcomes for students. In addition to developing habits of mind to notice-wonder-persist across subject areas, we also observe student learning growth in precision of language, collaboration and flexibility/fearlessness in problem solving.
At Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5, our core group of teachers is currently working with the Fred Rogers Center in order to better understand our teaching practices that support the growth of such habits of mind and other student learning outcomes.
Our focus in learning outcomes is not on standardized, quantitative knowledge measurements, but rather in thinking more deeply about a set of internalized sensibilities for children to embody as innovators. Children's Innovation Project works to bring these difficult-to-measure sensibilities into the current educational conversations around what matters regarding student achievement and innovation in our schools.
precision of language
An important habit of practice in the Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice-- precision of language is a learning outcome we notice in students who participate in the Children's Innovation Project's learning progressions, starting in Kindergarten. Both our language-logic constructs and our methods of practice support children's growth in such precision.
Because so much of the work in the Children's Innovation Project requires teamwork, children develop a strong sensibility for and appreciation of collaboration. Collaboration is more than teamwork, where the results of a collaborative process are more than just the additive parts of the contributors. Ownership of the ideas, processes, and products is shared and distributed among the contributors.
flexible and fearless problem solving
We have noticed that our students with long term participation in our learning progressions embrace a stronger inclination towards flexibility and fearlessness in their approach to problem solving. They are not afraid of a question or task. They embrace challenges with enthusiasm and big-picture, authentic strategies. They love to share ideas and hear the approaches of other students. They embrace being wrong and making mistakes as a good thing. They view collaboration as a strategy to learn more.