What do you see as the greatest challenge in implementing project learning?

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Johnnie Gibson (not verified)

We have teachers who have

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We have teachers who have been trained to use PBL, but due to the heavy emphasis on mastery of discreet content objectives, the constant testing to monitor mastery, and the lockstep pacing of instruction on the objectives (benchmarks), there is no time to either develop good PBL activities or to engage students in them in a meaningful way. Good teachers know that PBL is good pedagogy, but try telling that to administrators responsible for meeting annual achievement progress for every student, every demographic group, every school. We have long since put away all that we knew was good for students and their development of real lifelong learning habits and skills. Thanks NCLB!
Mary Ann Hess (not verified)

There are many ways to

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There are many ways to prepare for tests and to meet core curricula. Project-based learning can actually facillitate delivery of the core standards. I don't think that it should interfer with test prep. I believe that it requires teacher interest, dedication, creativity, and a little willingness to cede classroom control to the chaos of creativity.
Joan Ray (not verified)

Time is my most precious

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Time is my most precious asset. I teach college entry level required courses. Students have many ways to demonstrate their knowledge of course information. They usually prefer to complete a project internship in the community related to class and their career choice. The community is so delighted to be involved with such talented young people that they eagerly offer sites and supervision which makes my job of evaluating their growth much easier. After many years the whole community is involved and they secure new sites which then makes it easier to place students according to their needs and also the needs of the community. Thanks for such a terrific series of newsletters. I teach at the college level, but in the past have taught and been a vice principal and curriculum coordinator at all levels of education. Good teaching/learning at the early levels is so vital to the growth of happy, secure, informed students and later productive citizens and workforce.
Larry Loban (not verified)

Frankly I'd change choice

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Frankly I'd change choice "a" to read; "Overcoming the fear, misinformation about PBL, and resistance to change, common in many teachers."
Deborah Frederick (not verified)

As an instructor with a

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As an instructor with a workplace skills training organization targeted to 18-21 year olds, I am trying to establish a project-based curriculum that incorporates resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, basic computer skills and life skills. When I read the article about teachers who have incorporated life skills training into their fourth grade classroom, I wanted to scream "Hallelujah". These critical skills (manners, self respect and respecting others, positive self expression, anger management, hygiene) must be taught in elementary school. My generation (50+) learned these things at home and at school in the sixties, but today it is critical that they be taught in the schools as early as possible (I think it should be kindergarten). By the time students have reached high school they are practically immune to the merits of good manners, kindness, thoughtfulness and common decency. Kudos to Mary Harbolt and Gayle Quigley for their innovative approach.
Kathy Cutia (not verified)

I would LOVE to implement

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I would LOVE to implement PBL. It was how I learned how to teach. It was the way my first school operated. Unfortunately there truly is no time to do it. In my district we not only have state tests, but local tests that occur about every six weeks. We barely have time to teach them what they need for all of the TESTS, much less anything else! I find myseld increasingly frustrated by the lack of real 'teaching time' in my day and most of my co workers feel the same.
Patti Rimland (not verified)

Although project-learning is

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Although project-learning is the best way to engage students, without additional help, most teachers just don't have the time or energy to devote to project-based learning. Having been involved in parent participation schools for the past 9 years, the best way to enable additional activities and project-based learning is to enlist the help of many/all parents. At the parent participation schools, we were trained by teachers in areas of classroom management and teaching techniques for each subject. Parents collaborated with the teacher on project planning and project execution, but it was the teacher who assessed the students' progress and achievement. Parents can also offload many tasks from the teacher to give the teacher more time to devote to project-based learning.
Bret Wagner (not verified)

I'm planning on implementing

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I'm planning on implementing project-based learning in my high school Integrated Physics and Chemistry classes for next year. Much of the planning will happen this summer within a small group of other science teachers. We are struggling, however, with the "how" part of implementation. We understand the "why" aspect, and the "what" is clearly covered on the pages of Edutopia with some great video of projects other teachers are implementing, but we cannot find any information on actual project plans, rubrics and other assessments, and core activities for these projects. Where are the science teachers who are implementing high school PBL programs, and what are their projects? Any ideas where we can find this information?
Barbara FitzPatrick (not verified)

Our state is very concerned

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Our state is very concerned about test scores on the annual state test. As such there are an increasing number of mandates from the state and the district requiring tightly scheduled activities and frequent assessments in all subject areas. Unfortunately, this has created an atmosphere where teachers feel there is no time for projects. one of my goals is trying to convince them that projects allow for inter-curricular studies and better learning - but the time restraints have them believing this is not possible. (I am the library media specialist - a collaborative teacher)
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