The overall methodology is based on continuous iteration in an open environment. I will publicly post all of my notes and materials on an active education wiki. I will invite the people I have interviewed and the existing community on that wiki to provide feedback and offer new directions I can take with the project. I will also teach the course I am developing once during the semester to force me to think through the small implementation details and be able to iterate on my work before the semester ends. To do this, my project will be divided into five phases.
The first four weeks are dedicated to the exploration of focused project ideas, building a network of contacts, gathering materials, gaining a basic understanding current rapid teacher training programs, and creating a detailed plan of action for the semester. I will also setup the wiki and begin inviting others to view and edit.
The next two weeks are focused on completing interviews and summarizing my early investigations. At a minimum, I will interview one person from each of four different organizations. Ideally, I will reach two people from each of six different organizations. In addition to interviews, I will be reading a few chapters from at least three different books recommended by the interviewees and reflect on them on the wiki. Ideally, I will get to many parts of five books. During this time, I will also be developing criteria to compare components of the programs I studied.
The last three weeks of October are dedicated to distilling the core components of rapid training programs and creating the syllabus for my own program. To do this, I will use the criteria I generated to evaluate the major components of the programs I studied. I will then condense the essential elements of these components into the time available for a 5-6 week course, write out a detailed syllabus, and recruit a pilot group of Olin students volunteering together as tutors at the same school.
Starting in November, I will fill in this syllabus with a detailed lesson as I teach the skills I’ve found to be critical to the pilot group students. Teaching as early as November will force me to flesh out the details of the entire course, reengage the people I interviewed to help as guest teachers, and iterate my curriculum based on my own realizations and the feedback of my students. The time commitment for the capstone will likely exceed 12 hours/week once the class starts, but it coincides well with the ending of a half semester course that will help me free up time.
The final two weeks are left to clean up the wiki, engage in a final round of feedback, write a final reflection, and create a presentation for the Capstone class and Expo.
Click for the detailed fall timeline