I have been overwhelmed by the response to my last blog post, Trend Alert – Project Based Learning! Who knew? Not everyone posted a comment with their experiences: I received emails, tweets and direct messages full of excited words by eager and adventurous teachers.
The response has blown my mind!
In the middle of last year I made the decision to embark on a Master of Education (Research) at Sydney University so I could research into PBL and the impact it has on assessment, multiliteracies and the use of technology in Australian classrooms. You can read my rather ambitious research proposal here. I wanted to do that research because I felt so passionately that PBL could make a difference to the way young people learn in Australian. Heck, it can change how old people learn in Australia! And it can change a lot more beyond ‘school’ too. I thought if I had some hard data people would listen and start changing how they teach, even if it was just once a year or just incorporating some aspects of PBL like scaffolding, inquiry questions, formative assessment or team-work. But it wasn’t until this weekend that I’ve realised that I don’t need that data. I need stories!
I need you and your story!
Please, if you have used PBL in your classroom ever (you may have been doing it for ages as a TAS teacher or a cutting edge constructivist guru who’s been teaching since the 70s, you might have only tried one project and failed, you might only use some bits of PBL, you might have transformed your whole approach to teaching because of PBL, you might be crafting your very first project now, you might be a preservice teacher planning on using PBL in your class when you finally get one!) I wanna hear your story.
Here’s some thinking questions to warm you up … tell as little or as much as you want:
How have you used PBL?
Why do you use PBL?
What works? What doesn’t?
What are your strengths as a PBLer? Your weaknesses?
How have your students responded to PBL?
Do you wanna try PBL? Why?
Have you done cross-curricula or single-subject PBL?
Is there are team in your school dedicated to PBL?
Is your whole school a PBL school full of massive cross-curricula projects all year long?
Please be bold, and add a comment below. You’re a risk-taker – I know you are because you’re reading an edu blog post and you’ve thought about using (or already have used) a project-learning approach. So take a bigger risk and tell us your story.
We need to hear it.
Because narratives are more powerful than numbers.
Sorry Maths teacher friends. I don’t want numerical data anymore. I want emotion and heart and experience. Tell a story and you can change a person’s way of thinking.
Will you share your PBL adventure with us?
PS: Use a pseudonym if you wanna be a secret agent educator, lol.