Sunday, March 8, 2009

Project Based Learning

What a weekend!!! In an effort to put together a post on a new topic, I messed up my post on another blog and lost it completely. Sometimes juggling is just plain impossible!

With this new position as a TIS, I am required to complete 320 hours of professional development this year. Now that's a lot of hours. I'm taking a blog writing class and at the same time I am reading a book about project based learning (PBL). It' s actually a book study with all the other TIS people around the state. We have to read chapters and post comments on a blog. It is a great book and I thought you all might like to hear about PBL...and I could kill two birds with one stone! Then I lost 2 of my posts!! Oh well, those are the breaks.

So back to PBL. Think John Dewey and hands-on experience. Think student engagement and think of the teacher as a facilitator. My book defines PBL as a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authenic questions and carefully designed products and tasks. PBL projects may last an entire year or they may be one to two weeks long depending on the CSOs that are targetted. I like the idea of starting out small and easing into larger, more complex projects.

This year we have had professional development on deconstructing the CSOs, higher level thinking, questioning strategies, rigor and relevance, and student engagement. When developing PBL, we'd look at pulling CSOs Teach21...adding all that we have reviewed this year, and then we'd develop activities and projects that allow students to explore topics and learn from experiences. Standards based PBLs with performance-based assessments as the primary method of classroom instruction could replace our traditional methods as we move our students into 21st Century skills.

That's just a little to get you interested. The book is Project Based Learning, A Guide to Standards-Focused Project Based Learning and it is published by the Buck Institute for Education. If you're interested in reading this book along with me, just post a comment below and maybe we can get a book study group going here at TAEP.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I think teachers will get a lot of use out of this blog. It really is coming along nicely!

    It's interesting that you posted about pbl. I just switched the way that we are homeschooling and we are using a "unit study" approach. It sounds very similar to your pbl. ?? Cool!