Monday, 9 July 2012

Bit by Bit

So, my copy of the PBL Starter Kit arrived last week from BIE and I read it cover-to-cover in one evening. A lot of it was encouraging as I realised I'm further along in mastering the PBL method than I had previously thought, but it also threw up some very important warnings. Among the most pertinent of these was probably the need to for induction of learners into the process, and remembering that regular AfL is absolutely essential to keep projects on track and of a high standard with regard to outcomes. These ideas are not entirely new but do serve as useful reminders.
The book is also well worth getting for the rubrics and the way it really guides you into the PBL model, suggesting that we start small and then work our way up to more ambitious projects involving various parties and subject areas.
On another note, one disappointment from the book was how little a spark it seemed to generate from my Head of Department (HoD). At the moment, I'm a bit of a lone island when it comes to my curiosity about PBL although our PL leader expressed actual excitement at my exploration of this area, feeling it is very in tune with the school's philosophy and forward-thinking 'ness.' That's enough to keep me going for now, and to be honest, the further I delve into it the more convinced I am that this 'real world' application of teaching is something our learners deserve if we are to truly prepare them for what's next. The skills that they learn echo those they will call upon not only in the workplace, but in the everyday interactions and tasks that are part of life. We can't know the nature of future work places or patterns but one thing I am pretty sure of is that the qualities practised and refined through PBL can only be of benefit to any path life might offer: resilience, independence, self-management and flexibility along with all the opportunities to hone confidence in interpersonal and ICT skills - what's not to love?

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