Maker-Centered Learning Grows Your School, with Jim Tiffin
“Some of our philosophy is about not just growing what you know in the world, but growing what you know that you DON’T know - exposing (students) to possibilities.”- Jim Tiffin
Our guest today is Jim Tiffin. He infuses excitement into everything he does, and his enthusiasm will infect you in this podcast. Jim is the Director of Media/Maker Programs for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, Georgia. He knows how to make learning personal and authentic, how to engage teachers in the process, and how to connect parents and kids with “possibility thinking.”
In this episode, Jim shares about Media/Maker Programs - what they are, how they reposition learning in schools, how to make them work, and why someone might care about getting started with small steps in this direction.
Listen and take note of how you could use the Maker philosophy as a catalyst for learning and a platform for growth in your school.
In our discussion, we cover:
01:30 Andrew asks Jim about his philosophy of learning and education.
04:25 Andrew asks Jim to share about how he sees the future of learning.
04:36 Jim responds to a question about whether he plans for, or just allows the spontaneous creation of excitement to flow from Maker programs and spaces.
10:30 Andrew asks, “How do you design the incremental stretch (from smaller tasks to larger projects) for students?
15:47 Jim talks about how they align projects to educational milestones, competencies, and standards.
18:30 Andrew asks Jim to share about the use of student expeditions in the learning process.
22:30 Jim shares a few stories about how student projects have led to parental engagement, and how including teachers and parents adds a layer of participative excitement to what they do.
28:17 Andrew asks Jim to consider where a school administrator should begin if s/he wants to implement a Maker program in their school.
31:54 Andrew asks Jim for parting thoughts that might help schools.
04:00 “Some of our philosophy is about not just growing what you know in the world, but growing what you know that you DON’T know - exposing (students) to possibilities.”
05:20 “Tinkering is the playful experience that innovators go through to discover what’s possible.”
19:05 “An expedition is like a field trip fueled by student curiosity to make learning personal and authentic.”
25:23 “Some of the parent engagement comes from making sure that Moms and Dads can better explore the same things that their kids are talking about.”
30:12 “Think in terms of small steps; how are you going to not just look at toolsets and skill sets, but rather, how are you going to shift mindsets?”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School https://mountvernonschool.org/
Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation - http://www.mvifi.org/
Where to learn more about Jim Tiffin:
Personal Website - jamestiffinjr.com
Email - email@example.com
Blog - jamestiffinjr.com/blog/
Twitter - @JimTiffinJr
Jim on Linkedin https://linkedin.com/in/jamestiffinjr
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/