Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Project Based Guts!

Last year after creating and working on a pilot summer program, using the Project Based Learning ideas put forth by Terry Born at the ISA Summer Institute, my view on education changed.
The teachers and students I worked with those ten days for eight hours a day creating a Field Guide to The Glen Oaks Campus all came to a similar conclusion. How do we go back to the classroom and fall back into the factory model of teaching with subjects divided into departments after investigating learning together? The program opened so many new ways for us to evolve as learners.

In a recent article from Edutopia Magazine, author Diane Demee-Benoit states that :

“Every Project Based Learning proponent says it’s a better way to teach and learn. Teachers and students say they wouldn’t go back to the old way of doing things. So, why aren’t more people doing it? What I most often hear is that there isn’t time because students need to be taught so much material for high-stakes tests. This rationale implies that people view PBL as “extension units” — simply fun, hands-on activities. If that’s what you think, you’re not thinking twenty-first-century PBL.”

So why is it now June and I am concerned with high stakes tests? Why have I not changed my approach? What happened between July and September?

This summer I hope to continue the PBL facilitation the Montessori Learning Community began in the summer of 2005? We will be planning during the Summer ISA conference for 13 hours. I hope to become re-inspired. And after reading the article from Edutopia, brave enough to step out of my comfort zone and stand behind what I have always held, "That Project Based Learning prepares students for life and high stakes exams. "

Other sites suggested by the Edutopia article:

Project Based Learning Handbook

The Online Resource for PBL
I would love people to comment on some of their successes and challenges they have faced with "PBL"

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