Let's dig in!
Who's this course for?
This course will be perfect for you if...
- you're tired of your students not really caring about their work;
- you want to help your students be true deep learners and self-starters, not just students;
- you've dabbled in PBL and have had a little success and are ready to go head-first;
- you want to move quickly through the content to get right to the parts you need and maybe spend a little time there;
- you want to move slowly through the course, trying out each bit and getting feedback before moving on.
My BIG promise to you is that by the end of this course, you will have a working PBL unit... AND have gained key classroom management strategies that are specifically designed for the PBL environment to create high-quality and super-engaging learning!
So you’re ready to dive (deeper) into Project/Problem/Passion-Based Learning? Good!
As Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music, “let’s start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start.” This is a hands-on course, so just because it says “self-paced,” it’s not about skimming and just “getting the idea.” The course is designed to as a PBL challenge.
And today, your overall challenge for this course begins:
Build a PBL unit that’s exciting for your students and is ready to go before the end of this self-paced course.
You see, I believe that teachers teach how they are taught. So I've designed the course to stand alone. Now I’ll admit I have cheated and am dropping in more supports than I would in a classroom where I was face to face with the students everyday. But just know that there are many resources out there for these topics and I heartily encourage you to be a true learner and go beyond what I’m sharing in each section challenge. Will you take up the challenge? And if not, why not? How would you change this to entice a learner like you. I ask that not because I want to shoplift ideas from you, but because you will have learners like yourself in your classroom. How would you need to be engaged? Then apply that to your own challenges during this course.
Each section is roughly a chapter in my book, Lessons for LifePractice Learning. It’s called that because I believe that schools should be helping kids practice real life, right now, hence, LifePractice. So as you move through each section, you will be thinking, pondering, wrestling, and most importantly, building. You are encouraged, but not required, to use the book to go deeper into PBL as you move through this course. I’ve included a cycle of PBL that I believe gets to the heart of the structure. There are many other cycles out there. I encourage you to be a learner and go find them if you need additional help developing your point of view.
So here’s your first challenge for this introductory section:
Educators who are doing something different than what parents or colleagues are used to are often called to the mat to explain themselves, especially when the students start struggling with the work. “Why are you doing this? How do you know it’ll be good for kids? How will this affect their college applications? I did traditional school and it was good enough for me? Are you calling the rest of the teachers in the building “bad?” Get ready. Depending upon your climate and culture of your community, you could be in for a bumpy ride. So why ARE you doing this? Can you tell your philosophy and rationale in a 1 minute, succinct, eloquent elevator pitch? Because you will need to get good at it. Start here at the beginning and when you finish the course, circle back around and revise this, if needed. So what’s your pitch?
Bonus, share a video of you giving your pitch in our Practicing PBL Facebook group.
How to ensure you successfully complete this course:
- tell people you're taking this course.
- take notes and write questions that you have as you go along.
- consume everything. notes, videos, and the extra resources.
- go out and find even more resources to help you. There are so many out there and search engines are our friends!
- try out some of the strategies on your students.
- build your PBL unit as you go through the course; don't wait til the end.
- slow down on the parts you're struggling with.
- speed up on the things you're already doing.
- celebrate little ah-ha moments with a colleague or on our Practicing PBL Facebook group.