Assistant teacher course/Individual curriculum/handout/Leisure topics

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  Education has no more serious responsibility than making adequate provision for enjoyment of recreative leisure; not only for the sake of immediate health, but still more if possible for the sake of its lasting effect upon habits of mind. Art is again the answer to this demand.  

Democracy and Education, John Dewey

Individual curriculum: Leisure topics[edit | edit source]

Software recommendations
(e.g. inkscape)

Computer art[edit | edit source]

Computer art can connect to programming, mathematics, art, music, web design and journalism (publishing).

ToDo: More ideas for leisure topics that are interesting for teenagers but can be used to motivate academic topics

Game design[edit | edit source]

Pupils with a strong interest in games may often receive support to change their interests, not to develop the topic further. An individual curriculum can allow a pupil to explore the connections between games and academic topics instead. All game designers should take an interest in game theory, stochastic, pedagogy and psychology. The pupils should be motivated to be creative and design their own games from scratch, not to play or modify available games (with the possible exception of chess and similar board games). Developing a good game can require a high amount of planning, group work and game testing. The game designers can also develop and train soft skills in the process.

Pupils interested in computer games can take an interest in computer science and the underlying mathematics of 3D computer graphics or the physics for a physics engine. The underlying mathematics will initially be much too difficult but VPython, Python Physics and Alice can also be used by younger pupils. 3D computer graphics and a physics engine can create a continual challenge until college, the challenge for the educators is to find a balance between using software libraries (possibly without understanding for the internal logic) and designing own libraries. Another challenge for the educators is to find a balance between using game design as an end in itself and using enthusiasm for game design to motivate harder science.

Music[edit | edit source]

Music may be a mandatory subject for younger pupils but is suitable as a voluntary course or elective subject for older pupils. Computer music can connect to programming topics.

Soft skills[edit | edit source]

An individual curriculum aiming to train soft skills can connect to theater, pedagogy, psychology and mentor training. A course unit on the psychology of flirting, for instance, is bound to allow interest-driven learning for most teenagers and can be combined with theater and psychology as a scientific aspect. Course units on socializing, small talk and flirting can be interspersed as motivating units into a course that may otherwise not be consistently interesting for all teenagers and may be likely not to receive a grade. Pupils can also implement a Web 2.0 computer dating system or other dating system to motivate further considerations during the design process: What are intended search criteria and what are intended design goals of the system? What psychological considerations play a role? A dating system for pupils should be access restricted but can include neighboring schools, even if the purpose is mostly experimentation, which is what pupils do anyway.

Sports[edit | edit source]

Sports can be a topic of an individual curriculum but should connect to academic topics, especially if the individual curriculum contains no academic topics itself. Sports can connect, for instance, to nutritional science, human biology, medicine, pedagogy and psychology. A sports trainer is often a special authority for a pupil interested in sports, which can be attributed to interest-driven learning; that influence can be used to motivate academic topics as mandatory components of the individual curriculum.

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