This website I pinned because it pertains the the principles of global competency we have been discussing in EDCI 397. I read through the website and I can definitely see myself using some of the project ideas presented by the website. There is an example project that deals with civics and citizenship and another that is about environmental education. I think this website could go into a little more detail about each project and how kids can get involved. As the teacher, I would adapt some of these principles and lessons for my classroom.
John Spencer shares his issues with PBL. He says the biggest buzzword in education today is not a word at all, but an acronym, PBL. He says it's presented as a fix-all for education. Spencer expresses some danger in pushing PBL as something that should be happening in every classroom. His main argument is that this inquiry learning isn't necessarily going to prepare you for real life. Problems in life don't always begin with question and life doesn't always present a problem to be solved. PBL leans too heavily on exploratory learning and he believes students need to receive direct instruction, too. He sees PBL as more of a part than a solution to holistic education.
I understand the cautions Spencer is highlighting. I can see how all projects and no direct instruction will leave kids without the basic necessary skills to solve problems on their own. If we send kids off to do a project on manatees with out teaching them how to look up words in a dictionary directly, then we are putting them through a lot more stifle than is necessary. This resource seems in conflict with the resources also curated that suggest that PBL is an all or nothing kind of thing. Spencer thinks PBL should be part of education not the entire philosophy of education. These sources grew and expanded my thinking, but I think I disagree with him.
EDCI397 Connection: Something Jessica brought up today in our discussion circle is that with project learning a realistic fear for teachers is that some children might just work on the things they are comfortable with and let others work on other things. This could be a short coming of project based learning. If the teacher structures the group work in a way that forces students to get outside their comfort zones, this issue could be null.
A new study from Adobe has closely examined what it takes to effectively promote creativity in the classroom. Here's the breakdown and useful bits.
Katie Lepi wrote this article about how to promote creativity in the classroom. The article visually depicts barriers to creativity in the classroom. There is a statistic that shows that 86% of parents and educators believe teaching creatively requires a transformation in the way schools work. The top two reasons listed for why educators struggle to incorporate creativity into the classroom are current system doesn't value creativity and the lack of resources. In the United States, the top three barriers are that the system is too reliant on testing, educators are restricted from straying outside the curriculum, and the lack of resources. Lepi offers a graphic representation of the three most important steps for the US to foster creativity: providing tools and training educators to enable creativity, making creativity integral to the curriculum, and reducing mandates that hinder creativity.
I believe the barriers listed in this article are very valid reasons for why creativity is not happening. Additionally, the steps listed for fostering creativity seem to be accurate as well. I think it is possible for the US to integrate progressive and creative learning, but is going to take a lot of work. The good thing I see here is that 86% of parents support the change into a more creative classroom so that will really push the change through in schools. I grew from reading this article because I see how the difficulties such as lack of resources and test-driven curricula are stifling teachers from creating a classroom of creativity. Because I read this article, I know what the next steps are for the US to grow into a more creative style. In my future career as an educator, I will push for more tools and training on creativity, the reduction of mandates that hinder creativity, and making the creative aspects integral to the curriculum.
EDCI397 Connection: This article takes global awareness to a whole new level. It discusses how the US measures up as far as creative learning to other countries around the world. I agree that some of the demands and mandates we place on teaches hinder the creativity they could bring to the classroom if they weren't so bogged down doing those things.
This article contains a list of bullet points explaining why PBL is effective. I was glad to see that several of the ideas we are discussing in EDCI397 were also discussed in this article. It says students use 21st century skills to complete the project. It also says student retain the information better. I think this is because what they are talking about is something that has real world significance and actually matters. The global awareness piece is addressed in this article because the problems have real world significance. What I like most about PBL that is highlighted in this article is that it allows the teachers to learn alongside the students.
“Projects” can represent a range of tasks that can be done at home or in the classroom, by parents or groups of students, quickly or over time.
While project-based learning (PBL) also features projects, in PBL the focus is more on the process of learning and learner-peer-content interaction that the end-product itself.
The learning process is also personalized in a progressive PBL environment by students asking important questions, and making changes to products and ideas based on individual and collective response to those questions. In PBL, the projects only serve as an infrastructure to allow users to play, experiment, use simulations, address authentic issues, and work with relevant peers and community members in pursuit of knowledge.
This article describes the difference between projects and project-based learning. Though some aspects of the two types of classroom learning are similar, project based learning generally takes projects to the next level. PBL is a student centered approach to instruction and as such, asking students important questions and making changes to products and ideas created the philosophy behind PBL. This resource includes an extensive chart that compares projects with PBL. Here are three I'd like to highlight:
1. Projects can be done at home with out teacher guidance or team collaboration, where as PBL requires teacher guidance and team collaboration.
2. Projects do not give students many opportunities to make choices at any point in the project, while PBL requires the students to make most of the choices during the project with pre-approved guidelines.
3. Projects are generally turned and are all the same while PBL opportunities are presented to a public audience encompassing people from outside the classroom and they are different.
My reaction to this article surprised even me. I was interested to learn about the differences between PBL and Projects. Before curating the various articles for PBL and reading about it, I assumed that PBL basically meant the kids do projects to learn in the classroom. After reading this article, I see that by thinking this way I was overlooking some significant aspects and benefits of PBL. PBL takes doing projects to the next level because the projects are relevant to the kids' lives and they are child-centered. Because PBL allows children to choose their topic and where their project is going with teacher approval, they experience ownership and they can get passionate about their work rather than doing projects. I did a project in high school that was the same assignment for everyone and I had to work with what the teacher gave us for the problem. I feel like I would have been so much more enthusiastic and engaged in the assignment if I was allowed to choose a topic that interested me and I could take it in a new direction. I hope by using PBL principles in my classroom and allowing an open-ended aspect in each project the children work on, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when they are finished.
A project is meaningful if it fulfills two criteria. First, students must perceive the work as personally meaningful, as a task that matters and that they want to do well. Second, a meaningful project fulfills an educational purpose. Well-designed and well-implemented project-based learning is meaningful in both ways.
In the Educational Leadership Magazine, September 2010 Edition, John LArmer and John R. Mergendoller wrote the article "Seven Essentials ofr Project-Based Learning." The article opens with a secnario of a teacher plopping a packet of papers on desks saying create a poster on bacteria. This is a too common "excuse" for a project that lacks meaning and depth. The process of students' learning and depth of cognitive engagement are more important in PBL than the project. The seven essentials of PBL are listed as follows:
1. A Need to Know
2. A Driving Question
3. Student Voice and Choice
4. 21st Century Skills
5. Inquiry and Innovation'
6. Feedback and Revision
7. A Publicly Presented Product
In another source curated, the Projects v. PBL, one of the most important differences is that projects get turned in and PBL gets shared with the public, this is consistent with this resource. Seems like a common thread betwen all these currated sources is this "Need to Know" concept. All sources agree the project in question needs to stem from a good idea and a good idea is something that is engaging to the kids and sparks the "need" with in them "to know." The comparison to plopping papers on a desk and making posters with PBL is such a dramatic difference. I certainly remember making posters for projects in middle school, but if I were to get to make a poster as a component of PBL in my classroom, I'm sure I would have been more intrinsicly motivated and more engaged in the assignment. I grew from reading this article because I can see seven practical steps and goals for implementing PBL in my future classroom outlined clearly.
This article brings in the perspective of teaching from the Common Core standards with Project-Based Learning. This article says PBL cannot be added to the existing classroom practice. To be successful with it, it requires a fundamental change in teaching philosophy. Changing into a PBL classroom means letting go of a lot of conventional school beliefs and norms. Teachers will need to shift thinking from "controlling students" to moving toward a more learner-centered approach giving the kids autonomy. The following are the three core factors Markham says will maximize our effort and desire to successfully establish a PBL Friendly Culture: caring relationships, desire for meaning and purpose, and the power of mastery. The underlying fear and perspective this article was written from is the fear that "districts who talk about implementing PBL across their schools, do not fundamental understand all the changes necessary for successful implementation of PBL."
I am intrigued by the idea that teachers need to go from controlling students to trusting students. It will be difficult for teachers who have been teaching a certain way their whole careers to suddenly allow learning to be more exploratory and be a little more trusting of the students. The students are going to face the same challenge from the opposite perspective- they are going to go from being told what to do all the time to being given more freedom. Some won’t know what to do with this new found freedom and more than likely, they will totally take advantage of the teacher's hands off approach to the classroom environment. For other students, this new style of teaching will be a breath of fresh air because they will finally be able to stretch out and learn at their own pace in the way that is best for their own unique learning style. I also am glad to see he made the point that you can't just add PBL to current classrooms- the whole philosophy will change. This makes me wonder what schools will be like if we start out using PBL and continue to grow from there.
You can't tear students at Newsome Park Elementary School away from their schoolwork when it involves in-depth investigations with real-world applications. S...
Phase one: What do we know about worms what do we need to know about worms?
Phase two: Experiments and observations.
Each class chooses a topic to study for the semester. Then they create a display board or digital presentation and give an oral presentation.
For years we have been pumping kids full of all the information we think they need to know, but it's much more exhilarating when they are in the drivers' seat.
It's easier to teach out of a textbook when every lesson is prescribed for you. For a classroom to engage in project based learning, teachers have to be willing to work a little harder. It looks like the students are doing all the work, but the teacher has to work hard to support the students.
Test scores have improved because we have connected the project to real world learning.
Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits.
Vanessa Vega authored this Project-Based Learning Research Review. This report claims "studies have proven that when implement well, PBL can increase retention of content and improve students' abilities towards learning, among other benefits." The article defines PBL as a tradition of pedagogy, which asserts that students learn best by experiencing and solving real-world problems. Generally, a progressive classroom will include solving real world problems, increased student control over learning, teachers as coaches and facilitators, and students working in pairs or groups. Inquiry-based teaching methods engage students while developing real worlds skills. Learning Outcomes associated with PBL include the expectation that the students will have increased long-term retention of content, perform better than traditional learners, problem solving will improve, and attitudes toward learning will improve. According to Vega, the keys to PBL success include a realistic problem or project, structured group work, multiple-faceted assessment, and participation in professional learning networks.
I found some really helpful guidelines in this article. It listed things that a progressive classroom should include and for me personally, I intent to give students chances at least once a week to solve real world problems through exploration. I intend to follow through with the learning outcomes in my future classroom, as well. I want to see that my students participating in PBL will show greater retention and love for learning than their peers in traditional classrooms. Finally, I will work closely with Vega's keys to success including structured group work on realistic problems with multifaceted assessment. These tools and resources will serve me will in my future classroom. I grew from reading this research review because it seemed to be a great summary of several other sources that I curated.
I really like this resources because it shows where students are getting information for their projects. The projects are learned through resources that are distributed across many different fields, websites, and search engines. This allows students to engage in many different types of content curation sites. Google and skype are a few examples of resources. The visual is broken up into instant learning and coalitious segments showing how some sites are good for overlapping purposes. This is an interesting view of PBL sources.
Although Terry Freedman is an advocate for project-baesed learning, he stresses he is not unaware of its challenges. The following are the nine challenges he lists in his article and a brief description of each:
1. Coming up with a rich problem- Teachers need to come up with a "rich" problem that has many potential dimensions. Essesntially, he says the problem needs to be open-ended causing students to think, and it should not be something they can look up in two minutes.
2. Monitoring who is doing what- First, teachers need to be careful to ensure everyone has the same opportutieites to devleop the same skill. Second, teachers need to be careful not to let some students get away with doing very little.
3. Assessing Accurately- Be careful not to give five people involved in the project the same grade automatically. Teachers should consider monitoring who do what and keeping record, having kids log themselves, and talk to students invidudually to maek sure everyone pulled their own weight.
4. Monitoring Progress- Ensure each student is improving.
5. Providing catch up opportunities- Consider telling individual students what their role will be on upcoming projects if you see they have not been involved in a certain area of the project.
6. Ensuring no time is wasted at the start of the lesson- Make sure that during work time, the students already know and understand the game plan. They should end every lesson time with a block of planning time so they can be more productive during their next working time.
7. Ensuring Quality Learning- Peer-learning only goes so far as the peer pairs know what they are doing. Teachers need to establish class experts and set up their classrooms with resources for students to utilize.
8. Ensuring nobody waits too long for assistance- Making yourself available for student questions is crutial in PBL. Make sure the to limit "wait" time.
9. Not minding an air of organised chaos- Since we expect kids will really get into this project, be aware your classroom will be a bit noisy and students will be out of thier seats.
I think these are really helpful insights. PBL is not all fun and games. Children actively learning will sounds like organized chaos. You want the wandering around the room purposefully asking eachother questions and finding resources to get answers. Keeping track of student time is really emphasized in this article and it gave me some good things to think about. I hope to establish a culture of collaborative learning in my classroom. I want students to ask three before me and try to find the answer on their own rather than running straight to me. I want to make sure I use my teaching time in the best possible way, so I understand from this article that the majority of my planning and preparation has to happen before the kids start the projects or else they'll be asking "What are we supposed to do?" constantly. I grew deeper understanding for a more realistic PBL expereince by reading this article.
At TeachThought, we’re huge fans of project-based learning.
While there is no magic bullet of practice, program, or framework that automatically produces progressive and effective learning, what makes project-based learning exceptional is its flexibility. As it is, first and foremost, simply a curriculum planning tool, so much other “good stuff” that can support learning (game-based learning, learning simulations, place-based education, self-directed learning, etc.) can all be “embedded” in project-based learning.
With PBL, there is no “either/or” proposition: anything from open-ended,
play-based learning to data-driven, research-based instructional environments can all use PBL effectively."
This article is from TeachThought and they are huge fans of PBL. This article says PBL is first and foremost simply a curriculum planning tool so other games and learning simulatinos can all be embedded in PBL. There's no one size fits all way to appoach PBL but there are several great resources to help you along. The article claims the heart and soul of PBL is genious of great project ideas including the purpose and audience of the project. The following are a few of the items they suggest: create an interactive family tree from living family members, design an app, solve the problem of negative news, help local businesses increase environmental sustainability, dissect hte anatomy of viral web content and plan an MArs colony using current data from the MArtian landscape and atmosphere.
This resources seems to differ from the article Establishing a PBL Friendly Culture because it seems to say you can implement PBL in a classroom by having the kids do projects. The other source I currated about Projects v. PBL would also be opposed to several notions mentioned in this article. It looks like this resources give some awesome suggestions for great project ideas which it says is the heart and soul of PBL, so I will definily reference this resource in the future when I'm struggling to come up with ideas, but the philosophy behind the article seems slightly flawed compeared to the two articles previously mentioned. I really liked this article for the ideas for projects.
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