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Education Specialist

More students should be given the opportunity to learn this way

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My only fear is that we replace the reliance on traditional methods with exclusively pbl, creating a learning space where a student can do neither, either, or both will truly build a student centered school. The word "opportunity" is encouraging, implying that my fear won't be realized.

7th Grade Science in Oklahoma City, OK

trying

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I really want to move more and more to pbl but don't even know where to start. I know what it is, but a, struggling with the unit design. I want to do my biology unit based on exploring zombies or extraterrestrial life, but it's so overwhelming knowing that certain standards have to be taught whether we like it or not. we are one of the highest performing schools in the state and there's a lot of pressure as the only 7 grade science teacher to continue to do what we do. any ideas?
love your stuff Shawn. Your blog helped me a lot to finally step out with the faculty after 6 years and push the standards based grading I have been learning about. thanks

Second Grade Teacher

With all of the technology

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With all of the technology currently available, now is the time to implement project-based learning! In my experience, young students have not developed the same negative attitudes about projects as older students clearly have. We must tap into the interests of young learners to increase motivation. More students should be given the opportunity to learn in this way! I cannot wait to research more about your school!

Principal - Van Buren Middle School (Van Buren, OH)

It's not only the students!

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I agree with Rhonda - your school sounds like a terrific place!

I hear these same concerns from students, teachers, and PARENTS when a teacher begins to step outside of the box that schools have created. It's now our job to convince students, parents, and teachers that projects aren't "fluff" and when the right culture is cultivated, then we can "step away from the standardized test" and allow students to learn in authentic ways that bring together their passions and teachers' opportunities for high-level feedback.

Have fun and keep us posted!!!

Education Specialist

"How do you make sure they learn everything they need to learn?"

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What a wonderful opportunity to have a conversation about who would be so arrogant as to think they know what kids will need to know in the near future? Most experts agree that the top 10 jobs in 10 years have yet to be invented, so how would anyone objectively go about identifying what kids need to know for jobs that don't exist today? By transitioning into PBL I'm going to assume that your shifting towards a more holistic approach to education, take this opportunity to shine light on the advantages of this type of approach over conventional schooling and the flawed thinking of standards based education.

Curriculum Manager, Career and Technology Foundations, Alberta Education

Great post Shawn. I have read

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Great post Shawn. I have read many posts about implementing project-based learning and the shifts that are required by teachers and administrators, but few touch on the shifts required by students in a project-based learning environment.

Your new school sounds like a fantastic place to be a teacher or a student. I look forward to reading more about how your students choose to learn and explore their interests. Please continue to share what you learn as the school grows and evolves.

Best of luck.

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