Choices! pt1: students in PBL environments

I was able to tour a project-based learning school last week, and I was tremendously impressed by my student tourguide as well as the students I spoke to. They communicated freely with me (an adult and a stranger tot he school) about their learning in a reflective manner.  Most of what I was seeing was what I know many evaluation systems are expecting more of as they change their teacher evaluation programs.  These students impressed me further with the way they described the PBL format, talking like adults when they opened up about their “work versus personal” friends, their firing/resignation processes, and (I kid you not) their love of their “self-directed learning”.  Holy communicators, Batman!  Given the right tools and routes, they knew they could find the answer in the room by delegating tasks, tapping into each other’s expertises or leveraging their independent search skills.

I was impressed, but also knew that there are reasons behind this learning and it mostly has to do with the exploration process opened up to them through choice, which will bring me to Choices! pt2 where I’ll be reflecting on choices I gave in my classroom recently and how they are / aren’t paying off…

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