PBL is a construct made up by human beings — there are lots of variations! And you are entitled to construct your own version within some parameters. Study many of the great resources that are available to you and then create your own working definition and effective PBL practice. And consider our Continua Frame. We like to think with it, rather than dichotomies, simply because things are rarely on or off, black or white, ones or zeroes!
As an educator I want my students and their families to be a part of our daily learning. When this is encouraged, parents feel welcomed to engage. Through our ability to model this and offer invitations to extend learning outside of our classrooms parents begin to work alongside us, the teachers who are working hard each day to make a difference for all of our students.
Teacher and PBL consultant Shelley Wright offers her first draft of a Slow Education manifesto and urges other educators to end the McDonaldization of schools by joining in the effort. “Itâ€™s the very philosophy we need to save our education system.”
“Now that Iâ€™ve set up my classroom collaboratively, I cannot imagine returning to a non-collaborative environment,” says online educator Smadar Goldstein. “And whether you’re teaching from thousands of miles away or sharing a physical space with your students, an online component can provide unique shared learning opportunities.”
Are students cheating when they read the work of fellow students in a collaborative environment and then incorporate the ideas into their own responses? Online teacher Smadar Goldstein prefers to define that as “learning.” But if you have concerns, she has suggestions.
I believed that being new meant I had to follow someone elseâ€™s advice for the first six weeks of school, or I would be doomed. Now I know that students mostly know how to do school, and we must respect their intelligence as we build community with them.