PROJECT BASED LEARNING TRAINING BY CHOLE RICHARD
Last week Chole Richard of Jina Uganda, a teacher A PMM Secondary School. Chole is also a Teched leader. He introduced the Hands of Charity teachers to project based learning as a 21st century approach to learning.
Chole explained that it is a learner driven learning program in which the learners are actively engaged in problem solving of real world issues that affect them. As a learner driven program, the students identify with the problem at hand and are inspired to learn everything to solve it.
He played a video clip giving a brief explanation of what project based learning is: Youtube link to project based learning explained PBL.
The key differences between PBL and the traditional method of learning. PBL is Learner centered Teacher centered whereas traditional learning is compartmentalized into subjects. Traditional Tends to be judgmental; punishing mistakes. Mistakes are often opportunities for reflections and evaluation. Greater emphasis on cognitive learning. In PBL emphas is on all the three domains of learning.
Emphasis on memorization…. Aims at higher order thinking
Competitive learning………….. Teamwork; collaboration
Tends to be less concerned with technology…Technology as an integral tool of learning
Little regards for individual differences ..Complete attention to individual differences.
Disregard for student exhibition… Exhibition is an integral part of learning activity
Chole also took time to explain the general need to revisit the purpose of education if the real benefit of PBL and technology in learning activities are to be realized.
He stressed particularly the need to equitably attend to the three domains of learning and the need to drive the learners to higher order thinking even as we attend to the lower order thinking.
Chole says that he also laid emphasis on individual differences of learners, further that there are two key elements in PBL which needs to be present – making the program learner driven and ensuring active participation and in-depth knowledge of their chosen subject matter.
Learners have their own experiences and concerns for which they should be given opportunity to express and build on. It is crucial that the learners work on projects they identify with and own if PBL is to be of any meaning.The projects by their very nature have a start and an end. They start with the learners conceiving an idea and ending with final feedback and evaluation. The key steps/activities in project based learning. • Recognizing or identifying a need/problem • Identifying target beneficiaries. • Formulating clear aims and objectives • Identifying methodologies. • Identifying tools and resourceful persons • Drawing up a work plan • Executing of the plan • Punctuated by continuous reviews, critique, and self evaluation • Completed work outcome/end product to the identified beneficiaries • Feedback from the field and further self-evaluation • Exhibition/Sharing of learning experiences in the whole process 4 I added that project based learning is not a one day affair but may take months, a full school term of even a year. I laid more emphasis on the importance of evaluation which is all involving and takes very many forms
For instance: Taking note of students’ increased enthusiasm to participate and learn Taking note of how they come up with their own ideas either for the ongoing project or for a new one. Asking students to make reflections of their learning points in written or spoken form. Evaluation at individual level or as a class/program