Through the Education Lens

Above and Beyond

CJ Westerberg, July 28, 2011 9:11 AM


image: above clouds by themj2

"Written and illustrated by best-selling children's book author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, Above & Beyond tells the story of how the 4Cs --
communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity -
complement and strengthen traditional school instruction." 

Four Minute Video Below

What works for me in this video  - promoting the synergistic effect of collaboration by two students (among other things) - is how each student did independent work first, before coming together to collaborate.  Also, this narrative combined content with the production of actual work, instead of it just being about a few students working together in some "Survivor-like" task (think tug-of-war over a mud pit), which may be  fun for a field day - but not exactly what we want to see as an example of meaningful collaboration in  school.

"Above and Beyond" video runs under 4 minutes.  Let us know what you think.
                                                                                  -  CJW

Excerpts from the official press release:

Today, the Partnership for 21 Century Skills and FableVision released an original animated film that underscores the educational benefits of integrating high expectations, rigorous content and the crucial 21 Century Skills all children need to succeed in school and life. Written and illustrated by best-selling children's book author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, Above & Beyond tells the story of how the 4Cs -- communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity - complement
and strengthen traditional school instruction. 

"Storytelling is a powerful tool for teaching and learning," said Peter H. Reynolds, acclaimed children's book author and illustrator, and co-founder of FableVision.
"It's also a powerful tool for humanizing and clearly conveying complex messages and ideas."

"This animated story offers an important conversation-starter for audiences at education conferences, professional development days, parent and community meetings," added Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians and chair of P21. "Anyone can use this film to begin the important conversation about what learning in the 21st century must accomplish."
The new film tells the story of two school children who realize and demonstrate that they can go above and beyond even their own expectations when they combine their skills, talents and different approaches to getting things done. The allegorical story reinforces the message that improving the odds for success of all students, schools today must thoughtfully and intentionally emphasize rigorous content the knowledge and skills required to meet the demands of higher education, career and life in a global society and world economy.


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