Farida Rahman – MLTS Reflections

This blog post is a reflection by Girls Innovate! volunteer, Farida Rahman, on the Most Likely to Succeed movie screenings that Girls Innovate! hosted in August 2015 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

I had the wonderful opportunity to be at the Los Altos Screening of the MLTS movie. I was looking forward with great anticipation to this event after the brief peek into the promotional trailer.

There was a good crowd of adults and children. We all settled down after the initial checkin and pre-event surveys. It was a very engaging movie with historic references, educational theorists’ comments, and the wonderful students and teachers at High Tech High in San Diego.

I particularly liked the very first scene where the freshmen class was meeting for the first time at their classroom. They looked visibly unsure of how to get started and their teacher gave them a task right away – gather in a Socrates assembly and collaborate. The teacher then stepped away from the scene and let the group figure things out. From there on to the exhibition night, the same students were transformed to confident team members, working at their creative best. There was such a transformation in their individual and collective abilities. Their original body of work was amazing and creative. There was blending of various subjects to address a theory or problem. That is real life! All the learnings we do are applied to solve a problem in our day-to-day activities at work or otherwise.

The discussion that ensued with the audience was equally great and enriching. There were proponents who were for “project based” learning and others who were not quite sure if such a technique will yield basic research which relies on a lot of theoretical learning. There was this vocational aspect to the project based learning and yet some wondered if it’s possible to sustain this without solid backing of the educational aspect (minus, of course, the standardized testing and other things that plague the system.)  Another great idea discussed was the power of teaching children to teach themselves. This is particularly important in the Internet age where knowledge and mentors are easy to reach for whoever devours it. Case in point: Khan Academy, Wikipedia, blogs, etc.  Parents had great suggestions of sharing how to supplement public school learning with other real life exposure during summers.

This event definitely opened everyone’s thought processes and will continue to in the coming days on the way education should be imparted in this new economy.