Today, we had our weekly project presentation. Today’s topics were rabbits, dogs, Italy, an analysis of a failed clay project, and paper airplanes.
Some of the educational benefits are obvious: It’s almost impossible to describe something to others without learning at least something about the subject itself. The students learn to limit their topics, to find sources, to pace their progress and to lead their projects to completion.
But another advantage of the presentation time is how the students get experience with fielding questions and feedback. Their peers offer interesting questions, but also occasionally quite unfair critcism. This is received and responded to with admirable stoicism, surely an essential skill to learn.
All groups can fall into slumps where they may exhibit a loss of imagination, a tendency to copy each other, to take short cuts, and a diminished sense of purpose. But remembering to define the goals and setting a schedule can work some serious magic.