John Ryan, who teaches English and ancient history at Richmond River High School in North Lismore, New South Wales, in Australia, recently asked students to report on the history of the umbrella, using any approach they chose and giving them the chance to explore their individual interests while researching a common topic. "The idea is to have the kids self-select and have the opportunity to do things a little differently across the curriculum," Ryan said. "One of the things that's great about the idea is that kids can explore maths, science, physics or the metaphysical."

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