PBL: Let’s Build Something Together

As I write this, it’s early Sunday morning. Tomorrow, on Monday, June 13, Jill Gough and I will begin Day 1 of co-facilitating “PBL: Let’s Build Something Together.” This course is a two-day (10 hour, 1PLU) summer institute through the Center for Teaching at the Westminster Schools. We have about 15 educators coming from 4-5 different Atlanta area schools. Primarily, our essential learnings – our fundamental desired outcomes – number “just” two objectives:

  1. I can brainstorm various possibilities for PBL (project-based learning).
  2. I can create framework plans for various PBL.
Here’s our Curio7 mindmap of how we are structuring the ten hours:
Whereas some people attend conferences, institutes, and workshops expecting a considerable amount of “sit-n-get” knowledge transfer, our participants will be sorely disappointed if they are wanting that typical educational conference experience. Jill and I know we will not “finish” what we are setting out to do. Monday and Tuesday will be mere beginnings.
You see…we really want to build something together. If we actually accomplish our essential learnings, these 15 Atlanta educators will leave committed to enacting and implementing a PBL-project in the first semester of 2011-12. We are going to learn PBL by doing PBL. Our project: build a multi-school PBL to try in the fall. So, potentially, we could have 4-5 schools putting a PBL idea into practice with students.
Imagine the possibilities there! We could continue to develop the project as a virtual lesson study. We could engage in instructional rounds and visit each other’s schools to observe how the project is implemented at each place.
Last week, at a learning opportunity at Trinity School, @gcouros challenged us all to think of ourselves as school people and lead learners. He asked us to think bigger than just our own individual classrooms. Shouldn’t we do the same for school vs schools?! Imagine what we can learn together.
I love being excited about something which is about to begin!

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