Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Project-Based Learning | Flipped CLASS | PBL

Project-Based Learning and or a Flipped CLASS? 

Flipped Teaching and project based learning using the Common Core State Standards! 

Is a flipped class and projects based learning possible in today’s publisher driven, top-down curriculum model and austere school reform mentality we find ourselves working in? Giving teachers the power to make real academic choices, teacher-student selected curriculum, flipping a class, and or using project-based learning. Today classrooms are hindered with such severe cutbacks that many are closer to daycare than centers of innovative learning. Teachers are on the front lines of education and need support to do what is in the best interest of the child’s learning, not focused on test taking ability.  

Students in Finland are consistently ranked at the Top in Math and Science achievement! Why, because teachers focus on educational equity (student outcomes as related to learning) , not ranking, labeling, accountability or competition! Finland amazingly rejected the "Accountability Movement" 20 years ago and decided to develop a teacher-student centered learning model. They do not administer standardized or criterion referenced test! Teachers are free to make students learning the priority!

Texas administered the new STAAR test this summer, with standards that are similar to the CCSS, and guess what, TEST scores plummeted. Higher standards do not improve teacher or student outcomes. Most of the newly published CCSS materials that I have read are really just reshuffled old materials disguised as new and innovative. Schools will spend millions and millions getting ready to realign curriculum with the CCSS, and what we really need to do is realign our philosophy.  Empower teachers and create an innovative nurturing learning environment for both the teacher and the student.When do we honor teachers and treat them as intelligent professionals? 

The Common Core Standards are adding even higher expectations to today's stretched students and teachers, that of course means testing expectations are unreachable/unmeetable/unteachable, in many of today’s austere classrooms. My schools started this year with 32 full day kindergartners in each class with no aide! That is austere!

This year districts and schools will start choosing the best from the worst published curriculum that supposedly meets the CCSS because we don't trust our teachers to develop their own innovative amazing curriculum. Finnish teachers collaborate daily from 1:30-3:00 to develop teacher made curriculum and work with colleagues to meet the needs of all student. Project-based learning and a flipped classrooms are possible if we give teachers the power to make real decisions (picking what published program your school will use doesn't count) and the control!

Ideas to help keep the learning flowing and the innovative classroom alive:
  • Team Teaching
  • Students as teachers or peer teachers
  • Intermediate classrooms adopt a primary classroom
  • More flexibility in school schedules!!!! (Why we run schools today on military schedules is beyond me)
  • Real curriculum development and planning time
Flipped Classroom Explained: wiki  

Flip teaching is a form of blended learning which encompasses any use of Internet technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly being done using teacher created videos that students view outside of class time. It is also known as backwards classroom, reverse instruction and reverse teaching.
The traditional pattern of secondary education has been to have classroom lectures, in which the teacher explains a topic, followed by homework, in which the student does exercises. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another educator, such as those provided by the Khan Academy. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work. The role of the classroom teacher is then to tutor the student when they become stuck, rather than to impart the initial lesson. This allows time inside the class to be used for additional learning-based activities, including use of differentiated instruction and project-based learning.
Flip teaching allows more hands-on time with the instructor guiding the students, allowing them to assist the students when they are assimilating information and creating new ideas (upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy).

Project Based Learning: Explained
Project-based learning, or PBL, is the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence (not to be confused with problem-based learning). Project Based Learning was promoted by the Buck Institute for Education in the late 1990s, in response to school reform efforts of that time. Project-based learning is an instructional method that provides students with complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that includes teacher facilitation, but not direction. PBL is focused on questions that drive students to encounter the central concepts and principles of a subject hands-on. Students form their own investigation of a guiding question, allowing students to develop valuable research skills as students engage in design, problem solving, decision making, and investigative activities. Through Project-based learning, students learn from these experiences and take them into account and apply them to the world outside their classroom. PBL is a different teaching technique that promotes and practices new learning habits, emphasizing creative thinking skills by allowing students to find that there are many ways to solve a problem.

1 comment:

Thank you!