Project-based learning?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RedStripey, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2014

    Hello everyone!

    I had a wonderful interview today at a school for a unique position that I feel is the perfect fit for me. The principal loved me and said she was recommending me to the superintendent. The only thing that is standing in the way between me and a full-time teaching position is the interview with her. The principal gave me a ton of advice for things to research over the weekend before I speak to the superintendent and one of those things included project-based learning.

    Does anyone have any good resources or websites on project-based learning? I'm familiar with it but have never used it much in past positions. She said that I didn't need to be an "expert" on it, but have an understanding of it. It's a K-8 position that combines ELA and technology, if that helps. Thanks very much :)
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 1, 2014

    http://bie.org has some good resources, though as of late I haven't been able to browse their website well.

    I'm sure teachingchannel.org has some videos on it.

    I read a few books on it, but to me it's still a vague initiative. There are lots of ideas on what actual project based learning is, and what characteristics it should have to be 'real PBL' but a lot of times these books contradict each other. I take it to mean learning through reaching a final product or solution, and then sharing that solution.

    I do my own version of it in my Communications class which is also a tech class, and I think it's great for that type of class (which sounds similar to the class you're teaching).
     
  4. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2014

    I second the BIE website. We are a PBL school and have had the trainers from BIE in several times. They are very helpful.

    When I first started some of the videos here http://bie.org/objects/cat/videos were very helpful.
     
  5. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Aug 2, 2014

    I am really glad I found this site! I have found the term "project based learning" very vague. Thanks!!
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 2, 2014

    PBL is also called problem based learning, which might help you find more information. It is intended to stimulate HOTS by engaging the students in something that is organic or authentic. Do you want to know what makes a flower thrive, consider the factors you believe are important, then try some them out in experimenting to see if the results produced a result that is relevant. Students have to dig deeper into the subject to consider nuances of what may or may not be relevant. Some schools consider anything hands-on to be PBL. Primarily, it is to create context by doing or researching, and then finding relevance for what was learned in other situations, or as context knowledge for future study and learning on that or a related subject. Pretty much, it isn't worksheets.

    Hope that helps. I love PBL and Inquiry - peas in the same pod.
     
  7. Organic Poppy

    Organic Poppy Rookie

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    Project and Problem based learning are two different things according to the BIE. Project based learning is more multi-area while problem based is more single area. Problem based also tends to be shorter durations. Project based is the creation of something while problem based is usually written and theoretical. And both are so much more than "isn't worksheets."

    I also recommend the BIE, however I find that talking to a teacher who does PBL is the best way to go. My district is a PBL, but not wall to wall. My state has a PBL collaborative that we work closely with. We just had the BIE down this week to go over some of our PBL's for this upcoming year. I love it. Even though we didn't call it PBL, this is how I was taught in college.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 2, 2014

    Although we accessed BIE when training, it wasn't the only source we studied. There may be some fine splitting of hairs, but they share more than the same initials.

    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-vs-pbl-vs-xbl-john-larmer

    "Problem-Based Learning vs. Project-Based Learning
    Because they have the same acronym, we get a lot of questions about the similarities and differences between the two PBLs. We even had questions ourselves -- some years ago we created units for high school economics and government that we called "problem-based." But we later changed the name to "Project-Based Economics" and "Project-Based Government" to eliminate confusion about which PBL it was.

    We decided to call problem-based learning a subset of project-based learning -- that is, one of the ways a teacher could frame a project is "to solve a problem." But problem-BL does have its own history and set of typically-followed procedures, which are more formally observed than in other types of projects. The use of case studies and simulations as "problems" dates back to medical schools in the 1960s, and problem-BL is still more often seen in the post-secondary world than in K-12, where project-BL is more common.

    Problem-based learning typically follow prescribed steps:

    Presentation of an "ill-structured" (open-ended, "messy") problem
    Problem definition or formulation (the problem statement)
    Generation of a "knowledge inventory" (a list of "what we know about the problem" and "what we need to know")
    Generation of possible solutions
    Formulation of learning issues for self-directed and coached learning
    Sharing of findings and solutions
    If you're a project-BL teacher, this probably looks pretty familiar, even though the process goes by different names. Other than the framing and the more formalized steps in problem-BL, there's really not much conceptual difference between the two PBLs -- it’s more a question of style and scope."
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Project, problem, and inquiry based learning are three different things. ALL of them, in balance with some direct instruction, can be an amazing way to engage learners. I did a paper on this just last week!
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Yep, three peas from similar pods, and you have to love them all. Perhaps what we studied had more to do with the fact that we were a high school??? I love PBL. :peace:
     
  11. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2014

    Thank you so so much everyone! I really hope I get this job. It combines two of my strongest content areas and I'll really have room to be creative.
     
  12. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Same! :dizzy: I've never practiced it but heard it thrown around in my college classes and never got a clear idea on what it was.
     
  13. Organic Poppy

    Organic Poppy Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2014

    A big part of it is making a connection between standards they need to learn and real life problems.

    So an example of a PBL would be going to a retirement home, asking them what they need. After they say they need fresh veggies for their meals, students chose to do a veggie garden. Students have to do ALL the research. They can ask for "experts" to come in. This can be someone as simple as So-and-so's grandma who gardens or the owner of a local nursery. While they do this project they are learning about life cycles, soil quality, photosynthesis, perimeter and area, and that is just to name a few of the standards being met. During this you pull in text that reinforce the project, but also teach reading standards you have to meet. Something like Seedfolks would be a good chapter book. Then the students ACTUALLY make the garden.

    The goal is to do real world problems with real world results because it gets the kids invested in learning. Now they are learning because they want/need to. They are now asking YOU to teach them perimeter. If you teach a primary grade you have more leeway with the theoretical aspect of some of your projects.
    First graders can still believe the Very Hungry Caterpillar is real. I am doing a big PBL starting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar and ending with some sort of health fair/PSA. We have been asked by the superintendent to work on it because our county has poor health records. I am beyond excited to get it started.
     
  14. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2014

    Edutopia has a ton of stuff on project and problem based learning.
     

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