Because the projects showcased in exhibitions like this one are very personal to each student’s experiences and opinions, they can’t always be evaluated in the traditional sense. In Heather’s classroom, every opinion is valid. She just wants students to be able to express the why behind their choices. In a sense, the message behind each masterpiece—and the conversations it inspires—is more important than the artwork itself.
“We want to teach technique and skill,” says Heather. “But we also need to teach kids to think big and to observe life around them.”
Like art, Heather reflects, takeaways from travel are subjective in all the best ways. When students learn by seeing and doing out in the world, they gain qualities like empathy, curiosity, and open-mindedness. And while these things can’t always be graded or quantified, they still add up to skills like collaboration and strategic thinking that help students succeed in future classes, careers, and beyond.
“[When you travel] you have this feeling, and you’re in the moment, and then something resonates—and it just catches you. And you can’t assess that on a rubric.”