Sunday, February 21, 2010

Will it work for every student? Project Learning

This assignment was to watch Project Learning: An Overview. This is a video from the Edutopia website.

As I watched this video, I had one thought that kept coming to my mind. First, let me say that project based learning is a great idea. I love the student's enthusiasm and excitement in the learning that was displayed in this video. Most of the schools, in the video, are private or charter schools. This makes it easier to incorporate this type of learning into their curriculum. They are not under the constraints that the public school system is; which is usually centered around testing scores and PASS skills. I can see where these restrictions would make project learning hard to incorporate into public school systems.

I noticed that most of the project where science and math related. This made me wonder about the other basics that were not showed or discussed. Everything about Project Learning is centered and based around the student/child. They are responsible for their learning. The student chooses the topic/subject and then becomes the director of their learning. It is also the students responsibility to ensure that they are on task and get everything accomplished that they need to.

This type of learning is great if you are self-motivated and a real go getter. Unfortunately, we don't all fit into this category. I am not sure how this will work for all the different types of learners that you have in a classroom. We have students that I worry will be left behind or out in this type of learning environment. We have students who have problems that effect their learning and I am not sure how project learning would work for them. I am old enough that of course we did not have the technology that is out there today. A project, that usually used Popsicle sticks, was building a fort.

I want to work with students that come from low socially economic situations. I worry that this is the group that will be left behind the most. I like the concept of project learning, as a whole. I think this is great for science. For the last 2 years ,my niece has been telling me that she hates science. I found out that she is like me. She does not really hate science. What she hates is the way it is taught. It is so boring to learn science from a textbook only and I agree with her. I hated science until I came back to college. I needed the hands on activities to bring it into focus for me. I love science now and it is because of inquiry based learning. I was terrified in my first science lab class, but I found that I liked it a lot. My niece loves doing labs and experiments but this is not what is being taught in her school's science classes. Her favorite experiment is the burping bottle. I love how her eyes light up when she does an experiment by herself and it works for her. I think that I could incorporate small class projects based in this type of learning, into my classroom.

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