Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The sky's the limit -- even for student projects

A bit of old news here, but one I stumbled upon only today. It's something to remind me about being open to possibilities rather than pre-conceiving impossibilities when and if I get to supervise another bunch of project groups next year.

What usually holds us back from great projects that work is that we constrain them tightly within the parameters of the exam question, and there we have the edges of the box, clearly defined for us -- the lines we are not supposed to colour outside of. The question then has to be, "how big is your box?" Well, as far as the students involved in the story (above) were concerned, the box was as big as the stratosphere.

Projects don't have to be microscopic for the sake of 'manageability' and 'feasibility'. The beauty of the subject of Project Work is that if the size of the project overflows the box, the project can still take on a life of its own. The important thing is that it's meaningful, it's real, and it's done. And by the time the examination comes around, we'll find that the box is in fact infinitely enlargeable.

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