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The Personal Creed Project and a New Vision of Learning

Teaching the Universe of Meaning In and Beyond the Classroom

By John Creger
Foreword by Sheridan Blau

The Personal Creed Project is a classroom-based rite of passage that English teacher John Creger has developed over the past ten years with his sophomore classes. Recognized by NCTE as an invaluable resource for teachers of the English language arts and now being adapted in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as universities around the country, the Creed Project invites students to interrelate the facts, meanings, and values that inform their personal lives with their academic learning, making possible a quality of engagement rarely seen in traditional learning. Indeed, Creger advocates...

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The Personal Creed Project is a classroom-based rite of passage that English teacher John Creger has developed over the past ten years with his sophomore classes. Recognized by NCTE as an invaluable resource for teachers of the English language arts and now being adapted in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as universities around the country, the Creed Project invites students to interrelate the facts, meanings, and values that inform their personal lives with their academic learning, making possible a quality of engagement rarely seen in traditional learning. Indeed, Creger advocates creating a parallel personal leg of curriculum that challenges educators to devote as much care and expertise to promoting students' personal learning as they do to developing their academic skills.

In this book, Creger describes exactly how the Creed Project fits into his English course, and how it can fit into and benefit yours. Along the way, as his students do with theirs, he takes on his own "Big Questions," inquiring into the central aim of learning and what it is about the Creed Project that makes teachers and students so excited. His book provides:

  • a provocative and refreshing exploration into the nature of learning
  • a careful unfolding of the theory, grounded in the later thinking of James Moffett, upon which his practice is built
  • new perspectives and terms to empower the classroom
  • a "Two-Legged Learning" design approach, interweaving the academic and personal
  • easy-to-understand graphic representations of ideas and strategies
  • step-by-step instructions to bring the Creed Project to life in your classroom
  • a flexible organization to allow for differing reading or study approaches
  • a consideration of how students of color, African-American students in particular, might benefit from adaptations of the Creed Project
  • a rich cross-section of student voices-from the most disengaged to the most brilliantly high-achieving-eagerly endorsing this personal design for learning
  • a related website, www.universeWired.com, with downloadable support materials for the Personal Creed Project and Two-Legged Learning, along with student writings and related items of interest.
With this guidebook in hand, you can put the Personal Creed Project into practice in your classroom-and, even better, in your students' lives long after.

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Contents

I. Witness to Transformation
1. The Central and Indispensable Lack
2. Class Transformations
3. Teacher Transformations
4. Individual Transformations
II. A New Look Toward Learning
5. The Core Evolutionary Process
6. The Person Missing
7. The Learning Continuum
8. Goals of 21st Century Teaching and Learning Practices
III. Guiding the Personal Creed Project
9. Overview and Planning
10. Introducing the Project
11. Steps I and II
12. Steps III and IV
13. Step V: The Presentations
14. Life, Literature, and the Two-Legged Pursuit of Learning
Appendixes:
I. Creed Project Materials
II. Wisdom Project Materials
III. Materials for Weaving Personal Learning Through the Year

Samples