Since, at least in many Western countries, most of the population has received some level of formal education, we’ve all been exposed to a competitive way of thinking about success, learning, and growth. Unfortunately, we know that competition has skewed these ideas into a very narrow perspective that only thrives within the context of competition. We see how it affects a student in education. But those students are also part of a wider local, national, and global
Healthy competition plays a central role in the way many systems motivate and develop excellence. The space race, sports, war; any situation where two or more opposing powers compete for limited resources has pushed humanity, on various scopes, to new frontiers. If we want students to excel, it’s only natural we use competition in education, right? I’ve found that most educators find this statement to be true – whether consciously or not – on some level. But I’d like to pause
Whether it’s your 1st PBL project or your 50th - there are always surprises. The role of a constructivist PBL teacher is to curate a space in which that variation can flourish while still providing and facilitating an effective learning environment for a diverse group of students. This blog post is the first of a series called Project Essentials through which we will describe some ways to maintain that effective learning environment in a varied and learner-centered classroom.
It was the week before our exhibition, and our project wasn’t working. In our Engineering and Biology courses, we had researched and built a 6-foot-long model of a neuron to imitate the Sodium/Potassium channels opening and closing and transmitting the signal down the neuron. With an air mattress pump as a blower, the user would insert a ping pong ball on the left side of the neuron. From there, the ping pong ball would transmit down a clear tube and hit the “channel,” which
With the support of their teachers and community, 45 students in Kamloops raised over $650 in donations to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Imagine a classroom where students raise and study live salmon, access background knowledge at their own pace, design and make a quilt depicting the salmon life cycle, and raffle the quilt to give back to a foundation that supports education and conservation efforts. The learning is connected to current issues, gives students the ability to
Take a peek at this submission from a team of teachers and students in response to a design challenge for "classroom hacks" that increase creativity & innovation by promoting C & I student behaviors, teacher behaviors, and/or learning spaces. They came up with the following idea during a professional development Deeper Learning session on how to teach and assess creativity & innovation. We hacked our invention from the makedo version of the Pizza Box Easel. Our starting id
It all started at a PBL Workshop not long ago. Ruben attended the workshop thinking he might catch up on emails, do some shopping, etc. "We’ve all been to that PD session. You know, the kind where you can kinda tune out," says Ruben. But to Ruben’s surprise, he was immediately hooked! “I couldn’t take notes fast enough,” he says. That was the beginning of a journey that’s now taken Ruben through two highly impactful projects. Ruben says, “I felt a level of excitement in the
Several years ago, Jennifer Rust, a math teacher at John Dubiski Career High School in Dallas, Texas, attended the first day of a three-day workshop for Project Based Learning (PBL). She came with an open mind, but had her fair share of reservations about PBL’s applicability to her teaching practice. During the first few hours, the facilitating consultant asked the workshop participants to share their vision for the “ideal graduate” by generating a list of characteristics the