One school shares the various factors influencing the collaboration for their PYP exhibition.
During the 2013/14 academic year, the Year 6 Exhibition at RCHK took on a new look. Each student was able to authentically follow their passion and share what they had learnt with a wider audience within the school community.
• All students to carry out their specific, chosen inquiry, rather than being grouped by a vaguely connected area of interest
• Increase motivation and engagement
• Flexible groupings
• Varied modes of collaboration
• Increase school community access to the exhibition process and product
Threats of traditional model of collaboration
• Student motivation was threatened by vague interest groupings
• Personal learning preference – intrapersonal over interpersonal
• Students become ‘passengers’ in their team
• Students were only able to work with others from their own class
Each of the 168 children explored their passions and developed these into a potential Central Idea (CI), identifying the issues connected to their area. They then explored how a connection with the transdisciplinary theme ‘How We Organise Ourselves’ could authentically be made.
Students began their inquiries individually but opportunities for collaboration were offered throughout the process:
• Issue based sessions for sharing and collaboration (environment, technology, animals etc.) across the year level (some groups with common CI formed across different Year 6 classes)
• Groups within the class formed and reformed naturally as all students had access to a Google document detailing the CI
• Collaboration via flexible mentoring rather than one mentor per group
• Collaboration with subject experts (secondary teachers)
• Students collaborated with regards to presentation style, offering feedback and tips
• Collaboration with outside agencies in person or through technology
• A broader variety of exhibition issues and presentation styles
• More student-driven
• Motivation was high as students were focused on their passion and issues
• More authentic collaboration as it was organic and developed as part of the process, rather than being set at the beginning
• Fewer social issues; students were motivated to solve problems during collaboration as the group effort was purposeful
• Challenge to organize space for sharing 145 different exhibitions, some individual and some group
• Managing so many different exhibition groups from across six classes
The end result was an exciting and diverse exhibition and fulfilling learning experience for all students. The reward was definitely worth the effort and risk-taking on the part of the teachers. In removing the expectation of students working in fixed groups for the length of the unit, collaboration was enhanced and more authentic.
How do your students collaborate when they do their exhibition? Share with us your PYP exhibition story!
Tracy Wnek began teaching at the Renaissance College in Hong Kong 8 years ago. She has taught P2 and P3, and is currently teaching and leading P6. She believes that we learn best through discovery and developing our curiosity, and by making connections between ourselves, what we are learning, and our daily interactions.