Shared Purpose


Shared purpose learning in ED677 is centered around equity and connected learning; through weeks of assignments, we have been motivated to reflect on our own practices, discovering and acknowledging the work that we do in our classrooms to inspire our students to engage in learning  that is meaningful both inside and beyond our classroom walls.  By sharing on our blogs, we have collaborated and inspired one another to continue our work of striving to meet the needs of all of our students in equitable and creative ways. 

“Shared Purpose is a Project of Humanity” -Danielle Filipak

I really connected with her point of view of shared purpose; grows organically out of need, students then have a collective investment and it produces imaginative work.  Danielle defines shared purpose as, adults and young people coming together to engage in a project that means something to them, naturally, it’s not imposed.  I really appreciated her enthusiasm and inspiring responses to the students’ questions. 

Harry Potter Alliance

For the second year in a row, Harry Potter won our HS’s March Madness: Battle of the Books: Heroes verses Villains.  (The first time Harry won, it was Battle of the Books: Classic vs. Contemporary.)   The great thing about BOTB is that it generates a lot of discussion about reading, English teachers love this!  My homeroom students were less than thrilled that Harry Potter won again, many students commented that he’s the only character the majority knows.  I’ll admit, I was also disappointed,  I was rooting for Katniss (girl power), however after reading about the Harry Potter Alliance and watching the TedX video, I say, “Congrats Harry, well deserved.”  I think our school could use a new club, Potter Heads. 

The Boggs School, “No Water, No Life”
To take a problem like poverty and exaggerate many of its stereo types to make a point was not lost on this group of grade school students.  Using a documentary film narrative to investigate and expose the story was brilliant.   I especially liked the student interviews at the end, just like real movies.  There is power in replicating media that we take seriously, and these students addressed a variety of issues that many people would think was lost on youth. 

Creating Spaces for Students to Make Laura Fleming (Digital Is)
My high school has “free periods”, 9th graders are assigned study halls but 10-12 grade students are allowed to leave (open campus), sit in the hallways, go to library or cafeteria.  Lately, this freedom has resulted in many discipline problems centering on class cuts and noise in academic hallways.  I am 100% convinced that maker spaces are the solution; students need a place to decompress, tinker, geek out.  Every time it’s suggested, it comes down to funding; staffing and supplies, but to me, that seems small when the outcome has the potential to be great. 


This year a group of students approached me about Vans Custom Culure’s shoe design competition.  Talk about Need for Deed.  All I did was facilitate; students communicated with one another through our LMS Schoology, collaborating ideas and arranging work time.  I kept my room open twice a week after school for student to work on the shoes, and they independently submitted the work over our Spring Break last week.  I am so proud of this group of students, some of whom I have worked with and others, I have not.  The Art Center felt like a maker space for these students, and they did great work at little cost.

Be You House
It just makes sense that education should be this way!  Interest driven, peer supported, socially motivated, openly networked and production centered.  I have a lot of disengaged students who would excel at the Be You House, including my own son…

The implications of shared learning …keep fighting for the good fight.  A growth mindset is not just something we need our students to have; educators need to have it too.  Education is fluid, so must be its practices.





One thought on “Shared Purpose

  1. This is lovely Tracey, ie. “The Art Center felt like a maker space for these students, and they did great work at little cost.” … I welcome you to write more about that project at NWP Digital Is if you’d like. Sounds like an important way to tap into students’ need to make as well as their interests.

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