Video Challenge Shows Purpose in Process

Rachel Breitweser '03

"Great teachers know that each brain is unique; that all brains are not equally good at everything; that the brain is a complex, dynamic system and is changing daily by experiences."

These are the first three of 21 Mind, Brain and Education principals outlined by Dr. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, a leader in the field of the teaching philosophy that incorporates research from neuroscience and psychology.

Faculty and administration created imaginative impromptu videos to illustrate the concepts of Mind, Brain and Education Science for their professional development day.

In anticipation of Tokuhama-Espinosa's visit to Punahou in early February, this month, Junior School teachers collaboratively created videos to illustrate one of the principles. They only had two hours to conceive ideas, storyboard, shoot and edit two-minute videos.

The end result was a "truly inspirational set of Mind, Brain and Education Science videos that provide background of Tokuhama-Espinosa's work," said Dr. Chase Mitsuda '98, Assistant Principal in the Junior School and Dean of Faculty, who led the professional development day with Assistant Principal and Dean of Curriculum Dr. Todd Chow-Hoy and members of the Junior School leadership.

Due to the impromptu nature of the assignment and time limits, the videos were meant to be examples of non-polished products. In addition to what teachers learned through presenting the information and watching others' videos, the process of creating the videos was itself a valuable learning experience.

Mitsuda felt that the participating faculty and staff stepped up and created videos that were a result of the manifestation of many of the Aims of a Punahou Education, including curiosity, resourcefulness, persistence, resilience, inter-personal collaboration, and critical and creative thought." Teachers embraced the challenge and showed the same type of learning that they wish for students.

Chow-Hoy and Mitsuda also created a video. They also teamed up for two hours to create a two-minute video. "The process was heavily emphasized, as we did a storyboard and spent a significant part of the time planning," Mitsuda explained.

The video challenge served as a spark and a start to capturing a collective understanding of Mind, Brain and Education Science. Teachers also enjoyed working with colleagues who they usually don't have the opportunity to collaborate with.