Pod-project overview


In order to discuss with children the structure of projects and the different kinds of thinking and learning involved - we have attempted to describe what constitutes a project, in terms of the 'roles' played by children at different stages of the project. These roles are described in more detail on the following pages.

In an idealised project the order of roles taken by children would be as shown in this diagram.

The ‘Explorer’ stage involves children producing a rough map to act as a guide to the rest of their project.
In the ‘Detective’ stage, children research the project (and required skills) in detail.
In the 'Builder' stage they build/make whatever their project is designed to produce.

The final stage of ‘Story-Maker’ allows the children to reflect on the progress of their project and develop a ‘story’ of it for presentation to an audience – for example as a written text, a play, web-pages for the Cabinet web-site or as ‘Idea Sheets’ for use by other children.

In real projects the flow from one role to another is likely to take a more complex route with many ‘eddies’ as children backtrack to reconsider the project as they hit problems. For example it may be that while doing research in the ‘Detective’ phase they come to realise that the original plan developed in the ‘Explorer’ phase is going to be impossible to achieve; they will need to revisit the ‘Explorer’ phase and map out an alternative route for their project. The Detective phase may be revisited as children need to do further research to solve particular problems encountered later in their project.
It is important that both children and adult-assistants view this process of looping back to cope with problems as a normal part of a project. Children need to know that failure is a natural part of learning – a project that proceeded smoothly with out any set-backs would imply an unadventurous and dull plan in the first place!