Mini- and Micro- Coursework in Mosaic

brenden tweet

Well Brenden, I’m happy to say that the teaching and learning you asked about is indeed happening. The Mosaic Collective at Castle View High School offers mini-courses, which are three-week long specialized courses that are co-created and designed by students and teachers. These courses tend to begin with the end in mind, that is, application, and proceed to uncover content and skills along the way (opposite of many traditional course, which cover content as a drum roll to the ultimate applications).

Here are the names of our current offerings:
LOL! I just spit milk out of my nose.
(De)Constructing Nature
Scope it out!
It’s Not Just Grandma’s Game Anymore!
Money Talks
Artist Journals
Talk to the hand!
¡¡La celebración fue fabulosa!!

And here’s a link to the mini-course catalog.

The “Money Talks” finance course is a three-course series. The first part filled so quickly that we offered another section.

The first meet ups had students learning to track their expenses to learn how much they cost. As an observer to this course I was impressed by the students’ desires to learn financial skills despite their perceived ignorance of budgets and expenses.

Here’s a short conversation I overheard:

Teacher: Is food a necessity?
Student: Not really, my phone is more important.
Teacher: Don’t you need food to live?
Student: Yes, but I don’t think it’s a necessity. Should it be? Do I need to budget for food?

Hearing this I’m convinced that this course is absolutely essential. In fact, the second session began with this video, which sparked a conversation about hidden fees and WANT versus NEED.


Video link if needed:

Not long after this video the teacher guided the students to create a “bucket list,” which led to cost research and goal-setting.

personal finance

Some of what I over heard as I observed and eavesdropped some:

“This is hard.”
“Wow! I had no idea how expensive it would be to do that.”
“How much should I earn to pay for this?”
“Is a new car better than a used car?”
“I guess that is a WANT not a NEED.”
“How much will it cost the Navy to train me as a SEAL?”
“Why is out-of-state tuition so much more than in-state?”

I look forward to the development and evolution of our Mosaic mini-courses… especially as they overlap with our badge exploration and seeds investigations. (Future post?)

Fun and innovative times in Mosaic…