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Depth vs. Breadth in Project Based Learning

Jason Kintner High School U.S. History and Civics Teacher, Prosser Washington

I have found that project based learning is very effective at engaging students and enabling them to make a connection with history. I also really enjoy enabling the students to collaborate and engage in creative endeavors. My students not only enjoy project based learning, but I have found that there is greater retention of the concepts as they dig deeper in the subject matter. However, each year I struggle with time management in balancing the unit content requirements with the need to conduct authentic engaging activities which take a considerable amount of time. I teach a one year U.S. history course and we cover Pre-Columbian America to the Present--quite a time span. While my units are organized along thematic lines, I really struggle to cover the many important concepts. I would appreciate any thoughts or comments regarding balancing depth with breadth.

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