The MTPS SPARK Initiative
The MTPS SPARK initiative aligns with the district's goal to enhance personalized learning opportunities for our students.
SPARK (Student Pathways to Autonomy Relevance and Knowledge) was launched to generate greater student engagement in their studies by placing one’s passions at the center of the learning process.
The initiative calls for educators to help students design a long-term project around their strengths and interests. Though subjects vary, SPARK projects are structured by design.
WHAT IS A SPARK PROJECT?
- Projects are centered around a Driving Question.
- Students must choose a method of reflection throughout their learning process.
- Students must design a method to creatively share their project and show Evidence of Learning.
Students are able to express creativity during this guided learning journey by following the MTPS SPARK Rubric.
DEVELOPING A DRIVING QUESTION
A student’s driving question is the light that guides their discussion, inquisition, and investigation of a topic, and helps to refine and focus their passion and interests.
IT’S ALL ABOUT REFLECTION
MTPS SPARK is a means to engage students during their personalized learning journey, of which a greater level of mastery of a topic is the goal. Reflecting on research and discussion is the way in which a student can achieve that level of mastery.
But individuals learners learn best in different ways. An integral aspect of SPARK is for students to choose a platform for reflection that works best for them. Students will use this preferred platform to continuously reflect throughout the learning process.
Platforms may include blogging, vlogging (video blogging), SPARK notebooks, and podcasting.
EVIDENCE OF LEARNING
An important part of the learning process is celebrating your journey and sharing the findings. Students are tasked with choosing a creative way to display their findings, and present their final project to peers and teachers.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MTPS SPARK
It’s true the MTPS SPARK initiative promotes personalized learning by connecting a student’s passions and interests to their individualized learning journey. But the impact reaches well beyond that process.
MTPS SPARK celebrates risk-taking, boosts resilience, and teaches the value of tenacity, all of which contribute to the development of a well-rounded lifelong learner.
CONNECTION TO GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
MTPS SPARK projects don’t just exist in a vacuum. As student passions take shape, so does their vision to craft a plan of action that will improve their community.
Whether they create a website that draws attention to animals in need, a YouTube page dedicated to more diverse vegan cuisine options, or a Podcast about how the game of hockey can inspire a healthier lifestyle, MTPS SPARK projects can inspire students to be a positive force in their local community and beyond.
Learn more about the District’s Global Citizenship Education goals by following the link.
IMPORTANT SPARK MATERIALS
- Informational MTPS SPARK Presentation
- MTPS SPARK Rubrics