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We just finished a fantastic series of workshops with Children’s Paradise Montessori School in Cebu, Philippines. This time our class consisted of younger students, ranging in age from 9 to 13-years-old. It also was by far our largest workshop class to date, with nearly 30 participants (over twice the number we are accustomed to)! This challenge, however, was met with grace, due to both the tremendous amount of support we received from school President, Marivic Bathan, and her wonderful staff of teachers, as well as from the incredible amount of enthusiasm shown throughout the workshops by the students, themselves.
The children were broken up into teams of three for their creative documentary projects. Working in small groups facilitated the students’ learning, as they were able to assist and even teach each other throughout the multifaceted filmmaking process (a key concept of Montessori education). Interestingly, Children’s Paradise Montessori School fully integrates students with special needs into their regular classrooms, and it was the same within our workshops. Sharing equipment within groups also ensured there was enough filmmaking equipment for each project. And the variety of filmmaking gadgets used was truly astonishing, ranging from DSLR cameras and netbooks, to more familiar still and video cameras, to modern tablets that allowed students to create their film, from shooting to editing, all on one device!
While students were given free reign to pick any documentary topic from their “world of experience”, the subject matter of most of their projects revolved around their school (events, extracurricular activities, their teachers, their friends, etc.). Many of the young filmmakers put the interview skills we taught them to good use. And all did an amazing job editing their projects. One group even did a tribute film… to me. So with a tear in my eye, a warm smile on my face, and many, many fond memories, I sincerely hope to return in the coming year to teach again at Children’s Paradise.
And since I’m currently feeling a little bit verklempt, please check out some of the students’ fine films posted below:
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And here are some photos from our FaceBook page that show the participants in action, throughout the workshop series:
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We are currently planning our next workshop series in Southeast Asia. Stay tuned… and let’s keep this marble rolling!