- Project Based Learning in a K-8 School
- Philosophy & Practice in Our Standards Driven Era
- item #: 7
- 140 minutes
First No Child Left Behind (NCLB) changed what and how schools taught. The popular response was a return to the bowling alley curriculum of the industrial era, which force-fed material to be regurgitated on a norm-reference examination. And now the Common Core is upping the stakes by moving away from knowledge acquisition to the adoption and application of knowledge and skills.
Using an inquiry process organized around complex, real-world questions and thoughtfully-devised outcomes and tasks, PBL builds a student’s problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and literacy skills. In PBL, kids are never finished. The ultimate goal is for them to be lifelong learners who understand their own learning process. Hands-on, project based work, be it over the course of two-week or two-month projects, offers the students the chance to become metacognitive.
“That’s a skill that I believe is critical to take to the next levels of their life, whether it be high school, higher ed, or work world,” says facilitator Al Myers. “I think kids who graduate from a Project Based Learning program have those skills in spades.” These are skills young people need to confront the challenges facing our world—from combating global warming to negotiating peace. Skills required for the Common Core.
For the past eighteen years, the students, faculty and parents of Williston Central School in Williston, Vermont, have been practicing PBL. It was a natural fit with the foundational elements of their curriculum, instruction and assessment tenets. The faculty believes that curriculum has to be relevant and build upon the student’s prior knowledge, and that each student comes with his or her own schema that provides meaning in the learning process. Wherever possible, they invite the student and parent to co-construct the curriculum with their teachers. These tenets, exercised through PBL, ensure students have a hand in driving the curriculum instead of being pulled through it.
Over 140 Minutes on 2 Discs.
"I was thoroughly impressed by the DVD. The PBL process is clearly described and wonderfully articulated. The PDF tools add great value."
--Mark Morrison, Director of Leadership Development New Technology Foundation