#PBL example, courtesy of “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” on This American Life

Last Sunday, January 8, NPR broadcast a This American Life episode entitled, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory.” I was mesmerized as I listened to this expose of an electronics factory as told by a self-described “worshiper in the cult of Mac.” The story caused me to think about a great many things. I certainly thought of a powerful PBL possibility…

What if student learners tracked the production and “story” of a product of their choosing? What if they selected an electronic device, an article of clothing, a favorite object, a drop of water from their home faucet, a unit of electricity from a school light bulb…and what if they worked to discover the back story of this product, object, or unit of energy? What would they discover? What could be learned? Would they learn some history? Some math? Some science? Some anthropology, sociology, and economics? Some English and foreign language? Some critical thinking? Some creativity? Some writing? Some literacy and numeracy? Some ecology? Some justice? Some…

The possibilities are endless.

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