Everyone involved in this process (teachers, students, parents) understands the need to “make room” when it comes to regular class requirements that you can make the most of the amazing learning opportunities in the village. It would be a waste of time to take you out of the “four walls” of the regular classroom, move 2000 kilometers away, and then have you spend your days doing the same work that you would be doing back in Shanghai.
This means that teachers will be making very careful decisions about the expectations they have for students while they are away from Shanghai. While teachers want to “make room” for Microcampus students to make the most of their experience, they want to do so in a way that will not result in major gaps in student learning as they move forward in their education.
There is a need to find a balance: on one side, the wish to have students completely immersed in village life, while on the other side is the reality that students will need to be ready to return to the “four walls” without being at a disadvantage.
For example, if a student misses an entire unit in math class, he/she will probably end up feeling lost later on when the math teacher expects them to build on what they missed. Math class, then, will continue to be approached in a fairly traditional way (practice questions, quizzes, tests) in order to maintain the progression of learning that is a part of math class.
Teachers in other subject areas might view the Microcampus project work as being another way of reaching the same academic goals as the students in the regular classroom. These teachers will “make room” for your work by reducing or eliminating requirements for their class.
Again, the goal is to find a balance. Mr. Tafel and the Grade 8 teachers will work together to have a clear plan to serve as a guide for your expectations. This guide will be available before the trip and posted to the student workspace on the project website.