Creating a Vision that Propels PBL
Ken Kay, Ed Corps. CEO EdLeader 21
This is all about how to develop community support for PBL: Talking to communities about PBL is not a way to get them excited. Instead, get communities to discuss ‘a profile of a graduate‘. Don’t start with the ‘how’, start with the ‘why’.
- Conversation Starter: See the Student A vs Student B (Student A is traditional math, science, english, social studies. Work ethic. How to get an A.) vs Student B graphic: Student A no longer an on ramp to employment. Now we have flatter organizations ex. Thomas Friedman’s ‘The World is Flat’. At Apple if someone needs to be managers, they are no longer employable. So kids HAVE to be self directed.
Which student would you want to employ? Which will be a better citizen? Which will be a better family man? Student B wins, but why is the model for Student A so firmly in place. Parents and the school board grew up as student A.
2. Three Question Exercise:
- What are the biggest changes in society in the last 25-30 years?
From share out: technology, access to information, accelerated globalization, social media, decentralized, mobile workforce, immigration/demographics, climate change, fear, fundamentalism, terrorism.
2. List 2-3 skills that your children/students need to address the changes in society you described above.
From share out: Tolerance, critical thinking, collaboration, multiple perspectives, compassion/empathy, collaboration, resiliency, ethics and work ethic, self starters, sense of community and how you fit into the world. Self-confidence and self knowledge.
4/5 of students will end up in the ‘service’ economy. What skills do you need? Compassion, active listening, empathy, flexibility, cultural competence. Languages.
3. Looking at the skills you listed in answering the previous question, how intentional is your district in helping your students develop these skills?
My school is doing well with:compassion, empathy, ethics, multiple perspectives.
Doing okay-ish: collaboration, critical thinking.
Room for improvement with: Self starting, problem solving. Resilience, patience. Cultural competence. Goal directed, creative thinker, global citizen.
Examples and Advice for Building a “Portrait of a Graduate”
Focus on a few skills/competencies. See 21st C competencies. Fairfax County Public Schools, Va. Take care with ‘buzz words’ ex. ‘global citizen’ can trigger global over US interests. ‘Citizen’ can be scary to communities with many non-citizens. Creativity can mean ‘hippy dippy’. Content Mastery is likely to be important to my district.
See Mount Vernon Mind graphic. It’s in every classroom in the school. Kids know what the icons mean. See also Katherine Smith School
Upper Arlington Schools, Oh. had a plate with an icon on it.
This is to build sustained support, to guard against snap back. BUT it must, must be tied to classroom practices. PBL is maybe 70 or 80% of teaching real students those skills and competencies.
Entry filed under: Conference Reports, Education Psychology, Project Based Learning, Workshop Reports. Tags: BIE, BIE PBL Conference, Buck Institute of Education, community, implementation of pbl, PBL, project-based learning.