Project-Based Learning - Session #2 - Building Upon Our Learning


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1. Driving Question
  • The driving question should be open-ended without a singular response. This prompts complex inquiry.
  • Template: How can/do I/We Build/Create something for a public purpose - see below for resources
  • Should not be “google-able”; that is, it should not have a simple answer.
  • To answer the driving question, ask yourself, "Will my students need to learn important content and skills?"
  • Ask yourself, "Does it focus on an authentic issue, problem or challenge?"
2. Need to Know: Answers the “Why” of the Driving Question
  • The “entry event” should answer the Need to Know
  • The project idea on the project overview should not be phrased as “Students will” but rather indicate why students will do what they are doing.
3. Inquiry & Innovation
  • Tries to find an answer to the driving question
  • Inquiry is tied to innovation.
  • Innovation: the creation of something new and of value
4. 21st Century Skills
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
5. Student Voice & Choice - See RSA Animated Movie on “Drive”
  • Daniel Pink’s book, “Drive”, says that people, when working on tasks that required MORE than rudimentary cognitive skills, are NOT motivated most by cash rewards, but rather by:
    • Autonomy - self-direction that stimulates engagement
    • Mastery - the urge to get better at something - like playing musical instruments on the weekends
    • Making a Contribution - Giving a meaningful purpose - makes coming to work better and gets better talent. Companies that are animated by making a meaningful purpose are doing better economically.
      • Giving kids money to come to school or have better grades, doesn’t work! University of Chicago tried this and put in place a “For Pay” system of rewards. The kids got paid $200/semester if they got all “C’s or better”. If they kept it up, they were eligible for a $5,000 reward. What they found was that there was no measurable change. Kids who did better just got money. Those who did poorly, got money and still did poorly.
      • A student who is disengaged is not getting any of these three essentials.
6. Feedback & Revision
  • Ron Berger: “An Ethic of Excellence”
    • Expeditionary Learning Schools - WHEELS in Washington Heights
    • Good at feedback and revision
    • How to create a culture of critique that promotes a higher quality of student work
    • Critique should come from four sources:
      • Teacher
      • Self
      • Peers
      • Experts
    • Types of critiques
      • In depth critique: working with one student
      • Revision
    • Formative Assessment: critique that build excellence. Each error is a learning experience that builds towards correct
    • Summative Assessment: comes at the end, is usually a reward or punishment
7. Publicly Presented Product
  • Results from inquiry & innovation
  • An opportunity to develop a sense of authenticity