Before the summer hits, Erin Murphy and I will be releasing our new book on project based learning, Project Based Learning. Real Questions. Real Answers. – Unpacking PBL and Inquiry. To say we’re excited about this release is an understatement. And, more information to come! #RealPBL
In the meantime…Over the next month or so, I’m releasing a five-post miniseries, PBL Problems, which addresses some of the problems I had when implementing project based learning, as well as some of the problems other educators have had and/or continue to have.
Here’s a look at the five posts/problems, all of which will contain excerpts from the new book.
- All of my students are creating the same exact product.
- My students aren’t getting along.
- I don’t know what to do while the kids are working.
- My students aren’t learning what I needed them to learn.
- Project based learning is so different from all my other teaching.
My Students Aren’t Getting Along
Student collaboration is a cornerstone of any thriving classroom culture, but collaboration can break down when students have differing ideas or opinions. At this point, students typically decide to “divide and conquer.” But collaboration is not defined by slicing up a workload and then smashing together independent pieces into a final product. Collaboration, not to be confused with group work, is an interdependent give and take, where the collective progress of the group improves the overall body of work.
The Job Outlook 2020 survey lists “ability to work in a team” as the second most sought-after attribute in prospective employees. Accordingly, this is a skill we should be teaching our students, both proactively (before projects, and before disagreements occur amongst students) and reactively (during projects, when issues arise).