Sunday, February 21, 2010

What is project learning?

One of my assignment was to watch the Project Learning: An overview video for my t4t class during week 4. This video is from the Edutopia The George Lucas Education Foundation website. Their goal is to improve education in our public school systems. Project learning encourage student learning through using what they have learned in real-life situations and projects.

I think this is a great concept to use with junior high, middle school, and high school students. I feel that the students need to have the basics before they can build on them with these kinds of projects. The students choose what they want to learn about and then complete a project based on this knowledge. Everything in project learning revolves around the student. The students are responsible for their learning and completion of assignments and project. They become their own managers and directors of their learning and projects. This is great for the over achievers but what about the average student. I am a procrastinator, by nature, and I can see where I might not do so good in the project learning environment.

When I was in school, we did not have these type of activities or group projects. The closest I ever got, was doing a research project that only used the books in the library and encyclopedias. There was no computer or Internet to use at that time. Your best help was the library, parents, and teacher. Not much room for individual creativity in education during this time. As a matter of fact, it was discouraged instead of encouraging it. Not at all like it is today.

I think this would be great to incorporate into my classroom. I want to teach junior high, middle school, or high school science. I think these types of project are a great way to see what the students have learned by using them in real-life circumstances. There was one question that kept going my through my mind while watching this video. So I am going to close this with some food for thought. What if the student has no desire to learn or for that matter are only in class because they are forced to be there? How would this type of learner fair in the project learning environment?

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