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Group-Am.Lit. and Comp.Lit.
Group Grade 8 Tolerance
Group Gr. 1 Interdisciplinary
Group Enlightenment Salon
Group MS Looping 7 to 8
Group MS Reading and Research
Group MS HS Poetry
Milestone I (6-30)
Milestone II (7-23)
Milestone III (8-19)
MIlestone IV (10-15)
Milestone V (1-20;2-11)
Milestone VI (2-28)
1st Class Agenda
Second Class Agenda
3rd Class Agenda
TEMPLATES FOR COURSE
Lesson Plan Assessment
Curriculum Quality Rubric
Web 2.0 RESOURCES
Norms & Prof.Learn.Netw.
Tools to Integrate Technology
Web 2.0 Tools
Wiki--How to Create
Twitter and the Annotated Bib
More Technology Resources
Best Practice Technology Integration
TEACHING TECHNIQUES RESOURCES
High-Leverage Teach. Techn.
Annotating Text Tools
How to Read a Poem G. Org
Best Practice Resources
Great Sites for Teachers
Problem Based Learning Sites
Literacy Circles and Blogs!???
I Don't Teach Novels
Pink on Motivation--Drive
How Students Learn
he Internet makes us shallow?
21st Century Classrooms
and Bloom's Updated
UbD Template Stages I-IV
UbD Transfer Demand
UbD Sites and Resources
Infinitely interesting suggestions.
RESOURCES FOR DESIGNING UNITS
ACTIVITIES THAT PROMOTE DISCUSSION
PROBLEM BASED LEARNING INTRODUCTORY VIDEO BELOW:
The Big List of Project Based has at least 50 ideas for assessment.
Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project
Variety of resources, examples and research focusing on project-based learning and multimedia.
Educational Technology Panel
Background paper describing the Educational Technology Panel, originally established to identify, evaluate, and recommend exemplary educational technology programs.
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Models of innovative practices in K-12 education which incorporate project-based learning.
Network-Based Educational Activity Collection
Judi Harris's extensive research about how teachers can become designers for Internet projects, including 18 structures for successful telecomputing activities.
Project Approach theory, planning, examples, and professional development focused on using project-based learning in early childhood and elementary education.
Project Based Learning Handbook
Buck Institute of Education's comprehensive overview of PBL provides a detailed planning model for teachers and PBL research.
Project Based Learning Resources
Collection of articles, examples and resources related to project-based learning.
Sharing Best Practices & Strategies in School Reform
Bob Pealman's collection of PBL best practices, pilot projects, and student work.
Technology Support for PBL
Examples of technologies which provide support for the the implementation of project-based learning..
Virtual Architecture: Designing and Directing Curriculum-Based Telecomputing
Judi Harris presents examples of curriculum-based educational telecomputing projects and related resources.
The Web Project
Focuses on innovative, project-based learning in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
by people of all ages.
WWWEDU Discussion List
Pronounced "We Do" the WWWEDU listserv is one of the oldest gathering places for educators to exchange ideas about using the Web to support learning.
WWW 4 Teachers
Online community for teachers integrating technology in the classroom; includes online tools, PBL checklist and other resources.
- Edutopia is a site containing outstanding educational content for teachers. It contains an area devoted to Project Based Learning. Edutopia defines PBL, "
as a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups
." The site contains a brief article, along with videos entitled "
Projecty Based Learning Overview
An Introduction To Project Based Learning
. The Edutopia
main PBL web page
contains real life examples and this
containing article and blogs relating to PBL activities, lessons, practices, and research. Upon review you will note that Edutopia does live up to its statement "
What works in public Education".
Is a one stop solution for Project Based Learning! You'll find all the resources you need to design and manage high quality projects for middle and high school students. This site includes information on how to
Design your Project
. It allows teachers to plan
rigorous and relevant standards-focused projects that engage students in authentic learning activities, teach 21st century skills, and demand demonstration of mastery. It also provides a search for projects
developed by others (small collection) or
the ability to
contribute projects to the
PBL-Online Collaboratory and Project Library
. Teachers can
Learn what defines Project Based Learning
and the PBL-Online approach to successful project design. There is also an area to
find web resources
about effective Project Based Learning. There is also an area to purchase the
BIE //Project Based Learning Handbook//
which is the foundation for the PBL-Online website. A nice
collection of videos
is also available on the site. The PBL-Online is maintained by t
Buck Institute for Education
(BIE) which is a non-profit, research and development organization dedicated to improving the practice of teaching and the process of learning.
BIE Institite For PBL
- This author of the above On-line Resource Site is a must visit for anyone serious about PBL. There is some good information on the
that they offer. Explore the
BIE Project Based learning Handbook
, order a copy, or just explore the links on the page. Be sure to check out the
downlodable documents and forms
found in the book. There is also a
web resources page
that will supply abundant information on an
Introduction to PBL
Designing and Planning Projects
PBL and School Reform,
What do PBL Teachers Say?.
This is truely a great site to become more informed on Project Based Learning.
PBL: Exemplary Projects
- A wonderful site for those wanting practical ideas to infuse PBL into the curriculum. This is the creation of
a group of experienced teachers, educators, and researchers whom you may contact as resources. This team includes people who are also actively doing and creating new exemplary PBL projects, pre-service and continuing teacher professional development, and integration of technology into the curriculum. This site has a great listing of
national technology and content standards
to review. There is also a large selection of
to look over as you investigate assessment. For those interested in research be sure to check out the
for reflective thought and planning. While on the site be sure to take a look at the
along with the other
- This site has a contains some useful information on supplying sound reasoning for PBL in school. Especially interesting are articles on
Using Multiple Intellegences
. One very useful resource in this site is the PBL Project Check List Section. Writers of this site maintain that these check lists will help teachers start using PBL, by creating on-line downloadable age-appropriate, customizable
for written reports, multimedia projects, oral presentations, and science projects. The use of checklists assists in keeping students on track and allows them to take responsibility for their own learning through peer- and self-evaluation. Be sure to check the main
4Teachers Web Site
for all of their great sets of tools including other resources that can support PBL. This site is published by
which also has a host of resources.
Houghton Mifflin Project Based Learning Space
- This site from publisher Houghton Mifflin Contains contains some good resources for investigating PBL and was developed by the Wisconson Center For Education Research. Included is a page on
Background Knowledge an Theory
. There is also a link to a small
number of comprehensive projects
. Last for those attempting research there is a large numbers of
related to project based learning.
Intel® Teach Elements: Project-Based Approaches
- If you are looking for free, just-in-time professional development that you can experience now, anytime, or anywhere, this may be your answer. Intel promises that this new series will provide high interest, visually compelling short courses that facilitate deep exploration of 21st century learning concepts using and PBL. The program consists of animated tutorials and audio dialogs to explain concepts, Interactive knowledge checking exercises , offline activities to apply concepts. You can take the
PBL course online
, or order the Intel
, Take a moment and read more about
. Intel provides an awesome
data base of stories
that relate to project ideas. Anyone interested in project based learning must explore the Intel site, one of the most up-to-date resources for PBL on the internet.
New Tech Network
- I have personally visited the New Tech Schhols in both Napa and Sacramento California. I was impresssed with more then the technology. A positive and effective culture for learning is what New Tech does best and it is based around PBL. Take a look at the news releases on the New Tech site. Some that caaught my interest were
Wall-to-Wall Project-Based Learning: A Conversation with Biology TeacherKelley Yonce »
from Learn NC,
The Power of Project Learning »
from Scholastic, and
Students as Smart Mobs
It's All about me
both from Phi Delta Kappa. Last check out the New Tech video entitled
Learning Through Projects
for a good informative look at PBL.
High Tech High School
- These high schools also operate using a project based learning model centered around 21st century skills. I have included projects they came up with from a $250,000 California grant to institue PBL in non-charter public schools. You will find a
description of the project
along with the seven major projects and various others. The included
PBL assessment page
is also very interesting along with how
PBl supports literacy
in the High Tech Model.
EXAMPLE: Concept chairs: A format for classroom discussion
Concept chairs: A format for classroom discussion
This is a culminating activity that provides a format so that all participants are drawn into a discussion.
The discussion for the "Concept Chairs" will be based on a unit of study that assesses the effectiveness of the Judicial System while examining various types of justice within society (social, personal and constitutional). Primary texts, fictional literature and non-print sources will provide the basis for this discussion.
A lesson plan for grades 9–12 English Language Arts and Social Studies
[[lp/pages/3674|Civil War journals]]: Integrates creative writing with social studies and enhances knowledge of the effects of the Civil War on people.
[[lp/pages/3161|Writing a ghost story/mystery]]: Building upon the students' knowledge base of Blackbeard the Pirate, the numerous shipwrecks off of the N.C. coast, myths, and legends of the Carolinas, and/or The Lost Colony, students will write a ghost story or mystery narrative of their own.
[[lp/pages/3684|Little and big houses]]: Using the book Little House on the Prairie and international keypals, students will learn about similarities and differences among children at different times and in different places.
Learn more about
understand the Judicial System and selected literary and non-fiction pieces.
reason soundly, take a position, and raise questions.
communicate and verbalize opinions through discussion.
Time required for lesson
Two rows of chairs, each row facing the other. A third row is then set up at one of the first two rows, perpendicular to them and facing the “middle ground” between the first two rows.
Signs will be posted pro, con, or undecided.
White board or overhead
Students will need to have studied the Judicial System and have an understanding of the federal and state court system. In addition, students will need to understand the difference between civil and criminal law. The students will need to have read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird in English class. Students need to complete the research component of this unit.
Concept chairs can be used at any point and with a variety of issues; however, we will be using this as a culminating activity.
When students arrive in the room, a statement is presented on the board or overhead that will direct them to think broadly and critically about the function and effectiveness of the judicial system. For example, a statement such as “The law must remain stable and yet it must change” or “Is there equal justice under the law?” are possible open-ended discussion questions.
In the English classroom, questions such as “Is Heck Tate’s decision to cover up the truth of Bob Ewell’s death a just decision?” or “Is our society more advanced than Maycomb?” are examples of questions which might provoke the discussion.
The statement must be one which can be discussed on rational grounds, and one for which supporting arguments can be proposed and refuted.
Students will seat themselves in the rows assigned pro, con, or undecided. Someone from the pro side begins the discussion with an argument in favor of the position. Then someone form the con side may respond to the argument. Students are drawn into the discussion by physically moving to a seat in the row that currently reflects their beliefs about the position. Anyone can change seats at will.
Complete the [[lp/media/lessons/MarionOquinn5232002714/Survey.rtf|Survey Assessment]] at the beginning of the project then again at the end.
Teacher will monitor verbal statements with rubric and record movement of students.
superficial understanding of the position
understands position and adds some insight
analyze and differentiate points
formulates and articulates a new opinion
evaluates and supports ideas with concrete and abstract reasoning
here are some possible examples of expanding this method into other disciplines:
Ethical considerations should not play a role in the formation and distribution of scientific knowledge.
Scientist shoulds not be held accountable for their discoveries.
Math is not simply another language, it expresses the nature of reality.
There are statements in mathematics that are beyond doubt.
Truth does not exist without language.
It is not knowledge if you cannot communicate it.
Music, math, art, and everything are simply languages.
History is part myth, part hope, and part reality
Truth beyond a reasonable doubt can never be attained.
Historical facts are in the eye of the observer.
Knowledge is inherently a good thing.
The instructor takes the role of the moderator and does not engage actively in the discussion. The moderator clarifies vocabulary, keeps the discussion on track and ensures fairness. Red and yellow cards can be used to warn and then exclude participants who fail to observe courtesy, etc. Statements of divergent positions can be created for any subject area, but this is the crucial step. Unclear, weak or faulty statements ensured failure. It is a good idea to bounce ideas off colleagues.
Reserve the last few moments of the exercise for students to reflect and offer evaluations of the exercise.
Cooperative learning and inquiry-based teaching yield big dividends in the classroom. And now we have the research to prove it.
Credit: Thomas Reis
Today's students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge. In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions.
The Collaborative Classroom: Social and Emotional Learning
Traditional academic approaches -- those that employ narrow tasks to emphasize rote memorization or the application of simple procedures -- won't develop learners who are critical thinkers or effective writers and speakers. Rather, students need to take part in complex, meaningful projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration.
Listen to education expert Linda Darling-Hammond's insights on cooperative teaching in the
//The Collaborative Classroom: An Interview with Linda Darling-Hammond//
. Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford University and former director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, was chosen in 2006 by
as one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting education policy over the last decade.
She and article coauthor Brigid Barron are two of the coauthors of
Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding
, a review of research on the most effective K-12 teaching practices. In the book, copublished by Jossey-Bass and The George Lucas Educational Foundation, the authors explore the ways in which project learning, cooperative learning, and performance-based assessment generate meaningful student understanding in the classroom. Available for puchase at
expanded version of this article
adapted from the book (PDF
But what types of teaching and learning will develop these skills? And, just as important, do studies exist that support their use?
A growing body of research demonstrates that students learn more deeply if they have engaged in activities that require applying classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems. Like the old adage states, "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand."
Research shows that such inquiry-based teaching is not so much about seeking the right answer but about developing inquiring minds, and it can yield significant benefits. For example, in the 1995 School Restructuring Study, conducted at the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools by Fred Newmann and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, 2,128 students in twenty-three schools were found to have significantly higher achievement on challenging tasks when they were taught with inquiry-based teaching, showing that involvement leads to understanding. These practices were found to have a more significant impact on student performance than any other variable, including student background and prior achievement.
Similarly, studies also show the widespread benefits of cooperative learning, in which small teams of students use a variety of activities to more deeply understand a subject. Each member is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping his or her teammates learn, so the group become a supportive learning environment.
What follows is a summary of the key research findings for both inquiry-based and cooperative learning. First, let's look at three inquiry-based approaches: project learning (also called project-based learning), problem-based learning, and design-based instruction.
Project learning involves completing complex tasks that result in a realistic product or presentation to an audience. "A Review of Research on Project-Based Learning," prepared by researcher John Thomas for the Autodesk Foundation, identified five key components of effective project learning:
Centrality to the curriculum
Driving questions that lead students to encounter central concepts
Investigations that involve inquiry and knowledge building
Processes that are student driven, rather than teacher driven
Authentic problems that people care about in the real world
Research on project learning found that student gains in factual learning are equivalent or superior to those of students in more traditional forms of classroom instruction. The goals of project learning, however, aim to take learning one step further by enabling students to transfer their learning to new kinds of situations, illustrated in three studies:
In a 1998 study by H.G. Shepherd, fourth and fifth graders completed a nine-week project to define and find solutions related to housing shortages in several countries. In comparison to the control group, the project-learning students scored significantly higher on a critical-thinking test and demonstrated increased confidence in their learning.
A more ambitious, longitudinal comparative study by Jo Boaler and colleagues in England in 1997 and 1998 followed students over three years in two schools similar in student achievement and income levels. The traditional school featured teacher-directed whole-class instruction organized around texts, workbooks, and frequent tests in tracked classrooms. Instruction in the other school used open-ended projects in heterogeneous classrooms.
The study found that although students had comparable learning gains on basic mathematics procedures, significantly more project-learning students passed the National Exam in year three than those in the traditional school. Although students in the traditional school "thought that mathematical success rested on being able to remember and use rules," according to the study, the project-learning students developed more flexible and useful mathematical knowledge.
A third study, in 2000, on the impact of multimedia projects on student learning, showed similar gains. Students in the
Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project
, in California's Silicon Valley, developed a brochure informing school officials about problems homeless students face. The students in the multimedia program earned higher scores than a comparison group on content mastery, sensitivity to audience, and coherent design. They performed equally well on standardized test scores of basic skills.
Other short-term, comparative studies demonstrated benefits from project learning, such as increases in the ability to define problems, reason with clear arguments, and plan projects. Additional research has documented improvements in motivation, attitude toward learning, and work habits. Students who struggle in traditional instructional settings have often excelled when working on a project, which better matches their learning style or preference for collaboration.
Students as Problem Solvers
Problem-based-learning approaches are a close cousin of project learning, in which students use complex problems and cases to actively build their knowledge. Much of the research for this approach comes from medical education. Medical students are given a patient profile, history, and symptoms; groups of students generate a diagnosis, conduct research, and perform diagnostic tests to identify causes of the pain or illness. Meta-analyses of multiple studies have found that medical students in problem-based curricula score higher on clinical problem solving and performance.
Use of problem-based cases in teacher education has helped student teachers apply theory and practical knowledge to school contexts and classroom dilemmas; these cases, for example, have enabled teachers to take alternative perspectives to better appreciate cultural diversity.
Studies of problem-based learning suggest that it is comparable, though not always superior, to more traditional instruction in teaching facts and information. However, this approach has been found to be better in supporting flexible problem solving, reasoning skills, and generating accurate hypotheses and coherent explanations.
Learning Through Design
Design-based instruction is based on the premise that children learn deeply when they create products that require understanding and application of knowledge. Design activity involves stages of revisions as students create, assess, and redesign their products. The work often requires collaboration and specific roles for individual students, enabling them to become experts in a particular area.
Credit: Thomas Reis
Design-based approaches can be found across many disciplines, including science, technology, art, engineering, and architecture. Design competitions for students include the
robotics competitions and
, for which student teams design and build Web sites on topics including art, astronomy, computer programming, foster care, and mental health.
Thinkquest teams are mentored by a teacher who gives general guidance throughout the design process, leaving the specific creative and technical work to the students. Teams offer and receive feedback during a peer review of the initial submissions and use this information to revise their work. To date, more than 30,000 students have created more than 7,000
through this competition.
Few studies have used a control group to evaluate the impact of the learning-by-design model, but in a 2000 study by researchers C.E. Hmelo, D.L Holton, and J.L. Kolodner, sixth-grade students designed a set of artificial lungs and built a partially working model of the respiratory system. The learning-by-design students viewed the respiratory system more systemically and understood more about the structures and functions of the system than the control group.
Hmelo and colleagues argued that design challenges need to be carefully planned, and they emphasized the importance of dynamic feedback. They also determined that teachers working on design projects must pay particular attention to finding a balance between students' work on design activities and reflection on what they are learning; that balance allows teachers to guide students' progress, especially in recognizing irrelevant aspects of their research that may take them on unproductive tangents, and in remaining focused on the whole project rather than simply on its completion.
Shifting Ideas, Shifting Roles
A significant challenge to implementing inquiry approaches is the capacity and skill of teachers to undertake this more complex form of teaching. Teachers may think of project learning or problem-based teaching as unstructured and may fail to provide students with proper support and assessment as projects unfold.
When students have no prior experience with inquiry learning, they can have difficulty generating meaningful driving questions and logical arguments and may lack background knowledge to make sense of the inquiry. Students can neglect to use informational resources unless explicitly prompted. They can find it hard to work together, manage their time, and sustain motivation in the face of setbacks or confusion.
One of the principal challenges for teachers, then, is to learn how to juggle a host of new responsibilities -- from carving out the time needed for extended inquiry to developing new classroom-management techniques. They must also be able to illuminate key concepts, balance direct instruction with inquiry teaching, facilitate learning among groups, and develop assessments to guide the learning process. That's a tall order for even the most experienced teacher.
To address these problems, Alice D. Gertzman and Janet L. Kolodner, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, introduced the concept of a design diary in 1996 to support eighth-grade science students in creating a solution for coastal erosion on a specific island off the coast of Georgia. Students had access to stream tables, as well as resources on videotape and the Internet.
In a first study conducted by Gertzman and Kolodner, learning outcomes were disappointing but instructive: The researchers noted that the teacher missed many opportunities to advance learning because she could not listen to all small-group discussions and decided not to have whole-group discussions. They also noted that the students needed more specific prompts for justifying design decisions.
In a second study, the same researchers designed a broader system of tools that greatly improved the learning outcomes. These tools included more structured diary prompts asking for design explanations and the use of whole-class discussions at strategic moments. They also required students to publicly defend their designs earlier in the process. Requiring students to track and defend their thinking focused them on learning and connecting concepts in their design work.
Inquiry-based learning often involves students working in pairs or groups. Cooperative small-group learning -- that is, students working together in a group small enough that everyone can participate on a collective task -- has been the subject of hundreds of studies. All the research arrives at the same conclusion: There are significant benefits for students who work together on learning activities.
In one comparison by Zhining Qin, David Johnson, and Roger Johnson, of four types of categories for problems presented to individuals and cooperative teams, researchers found that teams outperformed individuals on all types and across all ages. Results varied by how well defined the problems were (a single right answer versus open-ended solutions, such as writing a story) and how much they relied on language. Several experimental studies have shown that groups outperform individuals on learning tasks and that individuals who work in groups do better on later individual assessments.
Cooperative group work benefits students in social and behavioral areas as well, including improvement in student self-concept, social interaction, time on task, and positive feelings toward peers. Researchers say these social and self-concept measures were related to academic outcomes and that low-income students, urban students, and minority students benefited even more from cooperative group work, a finding repeated over several decades.
But effective cooperative learning can be difficult to implement. Researchers identify at least three major challenges: developing group structures to help individuals work together, creating tasks that support useful cooperative work, and introducing discussion strategies that support rich learning.
A great deal of work has been done to specify the kinds of tasks, accountability, and roles that help students collaborate well. In a summary of forty years of research on cooperative learning, Roger and David Johnson, at the University of Minnesota, identified five important elements of cooperation across multiple classroom models:
Structures that promote face-to-face interaction
Cooperative-learning approaches range from simply asking students to help one another complete individually assigned problem sets to having students collectively define projects and generate a product that reflects the work of the entire group. Many approaches fall between these two extremes.
Credit: Thomas Reis
In successful group learning, teachers pay careful attention to the work process and interaction among students. As Johns Hopkins University's Robert Slavin argues, "It is not enough to simply tell students to work together. They must have a reason to take one another's achievement seriously." Slavin developed a model that focuses on external motivators, such as rewards and individual accountability established by the teacher. He found that group tasks with individual accountability produce stronger learning outcomes.
Stanford University's Elizabeth Cohen reviewed research on productive small groups, focusing on internal group interaction around tasks. She and her colleagues developed
, one of the best-known approaches, which uses carefully designed activities requiring diverse talents and interdependence among group members. Teachers pay attention to unequal participation, a frequent result of status differences among peers, and are given strategies to bolster the status of infrequent contributors. Roles are assigned to encourage equal participation, such as recorder, reporter, materials manager, resource manager, communication facilitator, and harmonizer.
Studies identified social processes that explain how group work supports individual learning, such as resolving differing perspectives through argument, explaining one's thinking, observing the strategies of others, and listening to explanations.
Evidence shows that inquiry-based, collaborative approaches benefit students in learning important twenty-first-century skills, such as the ability to work in teams, solve complex problems, and apply knowledge from one lesson to others. The research suggests that inquiry-based lessons and meaningful group work can be challenging to implement. They require changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices -- changes that are often new for teachers and students.
Teachers need time and a community to organize sustained project work. Inquiry-based instruction can help teachers deepen their repertoire for connecting with their peers and students in new and meaningful ways. That's powerful teaching and learning -- for students and teachers alike.
The Takeaway: Research Findings
A growing body of research has shown the following:
Students learn more deeply when they can apply classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems, and when they take part in projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration.
Active-learning practices have a more significant impact on student performance than any other variable, including student background and prior achievement.
Students are most successful when they are taught how to learn as well as what to learn.
Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding
, a new book reviewing research on innovative classroom practices, by Linda Darling-Hammond, Brigid Barron, P. David Pearson, Alan H. Schoenfeld, Elizabeth K. Stage, Timothy D. Zimmerman, Gina N. Cervetti, and Jennifer L. Tilson, published in 2008 by Jossey-Bass. Published with support from The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Available at
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This is an excellent article that applies learning theory and the practical. This educational technology/philosophy has been around a long time, and the mystery for many veteran educators is why this is often the exception, rather than the rule in our educational system. As my wife often says, "Why do we need a study to tell us what we all know it when we see it?"
Our school system and accountability measures are unintentionally designed to discourage PBL learning. Few teachers and fewer school leaders have both the skills of the "traditional" teacher and the ability and time to use PBL where appropriate to motivate and teach. However, many teachers would be energized in their careers if they had the support of the system to learn and apply PBL effectively.
I have confidence we will eventually succeed, maybe by 2020. It will require a significant disruption of the industrial model which has served the world better than any other before it. Our relatively primitive educational system will have to continue the evolution of teaching methods and the application of digital technology and learning and motivational theory to transform our schools beyond the industrial model. The current worldwide financial crisis may accelerate this evolution because no nation can afford the current model much longer- costs are rising faster than the CPI and the results are static. However, this means that the new model must deliver superior results at a real cost no greater in today's dollars than our current system.
I head a Bay Area high school of 1200 school working hard to address these issues. We welcome partners with whom and from whom we can learn.
High School Sciences
This article supports what some teachers have been doing for over 30 years. Many teachers (including many new teachers) are not sufficiently grounded in these techniques to use them effectively.
The Biology-Chemistry Professional Development Network in New York State has developed PBLs for Biology and Environmental Science. We have been using POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) in Chemistry and are now developing it in Biology. The real issue comes with state and local support for teacher training to get this strategies implemented on a regular basis.
I skimmed quickly and counted on a Find On This Page to reveal what I may have missed, but there seems to be no mention of the teacher's collaborative partner in deep, lasting, inquiry-based education--the librarian! Are we hiding somewhere in a footnote?
I think the article has some wonderful ideas. I try to use many of the ideas suggested in my classroom presently. However, I find it difficult to plan new content when our district curriculum has already been mandated and required. Does anyone have any ideas about how to balance these two issues. Perhaps, as the article suggests about students, collobrative work between teachers is best. Secondly, how do you create assessments to provide feed and judge content comprehension?
The need for change is not an indictment of our teachers but of the antiquated system in which they work to promote student learning one needs to target some of the root causes of the challenges
Your organization has been mentioned in the article I recently published.
You can read the article at the link below.
Wishing you the best life has to offer,
Steu Mann, M.Ed.
help on how to format text
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