tography gallery in Buffalo. Using a col-
lection of his own work as an example,
Donaher showed students and teachers
how to create a coherent whole out of
the pieces of an exhibit. He showed
students how to group and sequence
photographs and use text to guide an
audience. Essentially, Donaher acted
as artistic director for these emerging
photographers, guiding and shaping
students’ plans through overall critique
and individualized feedback.
Getting the Most from the Pros
York State Regents Exam in U.S. History
last year. Benefits go beyond the aca-
demic, Mascle says:
My students are motivated to learn the
content of my course . . . But even more
important, they are developing this sense
of the importance of quality, of taking
care and making things right. . . . Now
when they’re working on [other tasks],
we have this common touchstone of
the quality of work they are capable of
To work with professional experts in your classroom,
n Cast the net wide, especially through e-mail. Many of the best connections
come when friends and professional acquaintances pass the e-mails along.
n Create a binder describing the expertise that parents have to offer.
n Contact your local university’s service learning and volunteer offices.
n Talk with representatives from
the relevant field before you invite
anyone into your classroom.
n Meet with experts ahead of
time to ascertain their comfort
level with students of the age
you teach. Discuss your students’
needs and the specifics of any
n Be open to experts’ feedback;
they may suggest valuable
methods to improve novices’
work in the field.
© STefAn Ie felIx
n Be clear about what you want students to get from these interactions. A
typical invitation to an expert might read, “We are developing a garden in our
school’s courtyard. Can you share with us your methods for designing gardens?
Will you give students feedback on their garden designs and help us choose
the best design?” If possible, show experts a model of the kind of work you’re
hoping they will become involved in.
n Provide students the background knowledge needed to make the most of
the visit. Share protocols, rubrics, or other feedback tools with invited guests.
n Prepare students to greet, welcome, and introduce the expert.
n Offer a small honorarium.
n Acknowledge the expert’s involvement in all written materials associated
with the project.
n Have students present a thank-you note or other token of appreciation.
Excellence and Ethics
Howard Gardner—whose work
includes the Good Work Project, a
study with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
and William Damon of excellent,
engaging, and ethical work—recently
gave a speech at the 2010 Expeditionary
Learning National Conference. In it,
he described one of a teacher’s funda-
mental roles: “It’s our job to help stu-
dents become good workers . . . people
who are technically excellent, engaged,
and always thinking about the ethical
thing to do.”
Students at Polaris Expeditionary
Learning School, a public secondary
school in Fort Collins, Colorado, are
investigating the effect of reintroducing
wolves into Yellowstone National Park.
Polaris students live out all three of
the Good Work Project’s tenets—high-
quality work, intense involvement,
and a focus on ethical choices. They
examine the implications of the wolves’
presence and prepare to recommend
whether reintroduction efforts should
The students spent several hours
interviewing ranch operator Warren
Johnson, who owns property in the
mountains bordering Yellowstone,
delving deeply into the effect of wolves
on livestock and the ranchers’ attitudes
toward wolves. After hearing from
Johnson, students interviewed representatives from the Turner Endangered
Species Fund and encountered live