For this week, I chose to research project based learning. Since I’m going to be an art teacher, this one seemed to be the most relevant to me. Project based learning is a way of teaching where the curriculum is centered around the students. Through working on projects, students gain knowledge while working through real-world problems. I found a couple blog posts from Edutopia that talk about project based learning, but I zeroed in on one in particular. This blog focused on the process of getting started with project based learning in the classroom and how schools can adapt to new teaching techniques.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Windmill building in Pltw <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/automation?src=hash”>#automation</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/projectbasedlearning?src=hash”>#projectbasedlearning</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/PLTWorg”>@PLTWorg</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/AllianceCSD”>@AllianceCSD</a> <a href=”https://t.co/C2GbX2L3Nw”>pic.twitter.com/C2GbX2L3Nw</a></p>— Juliann Trevorrow (@TrevorrowPLTW) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TrevorrowPLTW/status/781555058672631809″>September 29, 2016</a></blockquote>
When a teacher is using project based learning, the classroom is one big collaboration. All the students are working and talking to one another about their projects. The classroom may look traditional, but there are a million things going on. Teachers might use project based instruction to differentiate learning techniques, or they might do it because the school is pushing them towards new methods of teaching.
The number one point on this blog was to trust your colleagues. The project based learning method requires teamwork and collaboration between teachers or it won’t work. The second point also falls into being able to trust your colleagues. There needs to be room for failure in project based learning, especially right off the bat. If a
school is just starting to incorporate this method, there will be some kinks to work out. During this time, it is essential that teachers can trust one another. If teachers feel insecure around one another, they will be afraid to really try to make this work.
Another essential part of making project based learning work is planning. Project based learning is not meant to fit into a typical class period. This is when teachers need to coordinate with one another and figure out who has how much time with the students and when. Both teachers and students need to be flexible with this. Teachers will need to gt together frequently and plan their lessons out. The only way this can be successful is if teachers are willing to be flexible and willing to work with other teachers.
Teachers can’t forget to teach to standards. While project based learning is great, they really need to make sure the projects actually incorporate what needs to be learned. Also, not every project needs to be big. Most of the time, it’s going to be smaller scale projects.
The last major point this blog made was that not everything needs to be made into a project. That is just as overwhelming as sending a student home with three hours worth of worksheets for every subject for homework. Teachers need to find a balance and realize that it is ok to not have every single learning experience be a project. They can’t force something to work if it won’t fit the topic.
People to follow:
Blog to follow:
Photo CC Krissy Venosdale