To be successful in carrying out this plan I will need resources that will help me guide teachers in producing PBL mini-units. I found an article “Scaffolding Teachers’ Efforts to Implement Problem-Based Learning” by Ertmer & Simons (2005/2006) that not only gave me insight into what kinds of support teachers might need, but also resources to access that could give me more information in the Bibliography. I have decided that I will come up with actual scaffolds to help teachers plan PBL lessons. Because it is such a huge task and there is so much information available to sift through, I think giving teachers success in planning and carrying out a PBL mini-unit will provide the impetus necessary for further work. I will also provide an Edmodo group that will have links to articles, online resources and documents for teachers who want to look more deeply into PBL.
The scaffolds I plan to start with are based directly on information from Ertmer and Simons’ (2005/2006) article. They are: essential (driving) questions (p. 5), locating/gathering resources (p. 6), creating student ownership of the problem (p. 7), creating a collaborative classroom culture (p. 8), and assessment methods (p. 10). I also want to give a short overview for teacher of what PBL is, why it is valuable for student learning and how it might look in a classroom. Resources I have found that will do this include this web page, What is Project Based Learning
(Stanfill, n.d.), this video Project Based Learning:
Explained (Common Craft, 2010) and this guide Project-Based
Learning Professional Development Guide (Edutopia, 2007). I may distill the
information even further to give teachers a clear but concise introduction to
PBL. I have found that teachers I have talked to believe that doing projects is
the same as project-based learning.
To give an idea of how I plan to scaffold teacher implementation of PBL I will start with designing a worksheet for essential questions. One of the resources listed in the bibliography of the Ertmer and Simons article (2005/2006) provided a list of examples and non-examples of essential questions
(Quebec English School Network RÉCIT , 2005). I will use some of
those in the initial scaffold for designing questions. Information in Developing
the Questions for Project-Based Learning (Kolk, 2011) includes an exercise
to determine the enduring understanding behind topics from a curriculum and a
quick description of what an essential question is. There are also links at the
bottom of the article to Wallingford Public Schools Enduring Understandings and
Essential Questions for Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies which
provide great examples.
|Image found: http://www.teachhub.com/reading-lessons-scaffold-texts|
I believe to make this plan a success I have to make PBL as accessible as possible. Providing resources to help develop each part of the plan, samples of exemplary components and explanations to give an overview of the whole process are essential to making it accessible. It is a complex process and requires a great deal of adjustment to teaching style, planning and expectations of students.
Common Craft. (2010, December 9). Project Based Learning: Explained. Retrieved from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCZvGesRz8
Edutopia. (2007, October 19). Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide. Retrieved from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-guide
Ertmer, P. A., & Simons, K. D. (2005/2006). Scaffolding Teachers' Efforts to Implement Problem Based Learning. International Journal of Learning, 319-328. Retrieved from Peg Ertmer's Virtual Home: http://www.edci.purdue.edu/ertmer/docs/ertmer-lc05.pdf
Kolk, M. (2011, July 18). Developing the questions for project-based learning. Retrieved from Tech4Learning Blog: http://web.tech4learning.com/blog-0/bid/60418/Developing-the-questions-for-project-based-learning
Quebec English School Network RÉCIT . (2005). QEP and ICT: Making the Connection Through Project-Based Learning. Retrieved from LEARN Quebec: http://www.learnquebec.ca/export/sites/learn/en/content/professional_development/workshops/documents/essquest.pdf
Stanfill, J. (n.d.). Personal Webpage, California State University, Sacramento. Retrieved from What is Project-Based Learning (PBL)?: http://imet.csus.edu/imet2/stanfillj/workshops/pbl/description.htm