Enigma Missions – Students Reflecting on their Learning: Wooranna Park PS

Level 3, 4, 5, 6
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In order to get their students to explore and explain some of the “great paradoxes, conundrums and mysteries of existence”, the staff at Wooranna Park PS developed a project called ‘The Enigma Missions’. These were student-selected and student-driven inquiries (like passion projects) through which the students chose, researched and presented their understanding of a topic that caught their attention. One student describes an Enigma Mission as “a project based on deep thinking…you have to choose a topic and research very very deep on it”. In an example of rich and authentic problem solving, based in real world contexts, the students were challenged to extend their knowledge of what was happening around the world as they investigated themes like Autism, the Thylacine, Burn Integration, DNA and Genetics. They conducted interviews and contacted experts.

“We want them to be thinkers; we want them to be people who can create change; people who can make a difference.” - Jenny Vine, Assistant Principal

Ideas for using this resource

Prompts for discussion:

  • How would the students at your school describe their learning? Compare this to what the Wooranna Park PS students say about their learning through the Enigma Missions. What is similar and different?
  • What actions emerge for you, that you can implement in your classroom?
  • Questioning is a powerful HITS and effective teachers use it regularly for a range of purposes. How does an Enigma Mission open up opportunities for students to investigate, gain immediate feedback, discuss, argue and express their opinions?

A .wmv version of this video is available here - http://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/?PX4D8W

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