Sunday, October 5, 2008

..from sage on stage, to guide on the side....

a.k.a. project based learning

PBL allows students to establish "connections to life outside the classroom, addressing real world concerns, and developing real world skills" ( Isn't this what education should be about? What is the purpose of education? Essentially, the JDP is a project based learning model for K-20+ educational practitioners. I question if the JDP maximizes PBL due to the virtual classroom environment. I am inclined to believe that optimal learning and engagement is a result of the high frequency of face-to-face student/teacher interactions. Also, the smaller the group, the more individual engagement a student will have.

The purpose of education is to prepare, guide, and facilitate people, thoughts, intellect, and ideas (of all ages) with the hopes that their knowledge, skills, interests, and passions make the world a better place. I believe a large component of education is the expectation that educators assist in the development of responsible, caring citizens of the world. Is it our (i.e. educators', common folks') civic and humane responsibility to contribute to solutions and the overall betterment of humankind?

It seems like a principle component of PBL is for the "teacher" or other person in a formal educational authoritarian role to be willing to be flexible and adapt to the learning styles, paces, and unique ideas, opinions, and perspectives of all voices in the classroom. PBL places more responsibility on the students--they are active participants in shaping the "curriculum and educational learning outcomes" of a course.

COMPONENTS OF PBL: curricular content, multimedia, student direction, collaboration, real world connection, extended time frame, assessment (

After reviewing the literature about PBL, I am left contemplating the similiarities and differences of SERVICE LEARNING and PBL. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities ( Should the outcomes of all educational settings benefit society at large? Or should we simply "teach" for the sake of teaching and saying we are "educated"?

Enculturation lies at the heart of learning. It also lies at the heart of knowing. (

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