The Seven Oaks School Division Post Baccalaureate Cohort in Inquiry is currently engaged in a course entitled Project-based Learning Theory. In the fall, the group completed Topics in Experiential Education, and as such, have a firm foundational understanding of experience and design. In PBL theory, we have been exploring PBL as a container for deeper learning. You can check out the podcast below to see how our thinking is taking shape. (We will be adding podcasts every few days.)
A group of passionate educators came together to create this book. We hope that your PLN or team can make use of our stories. You can grab copies from the fine folks at Portage & Main Press
Between January and April, educators throughout Manitoba came together every Tuesday to think deeply about heavy concepts (like experience, engagement, learning, and teaching), to think and reflect on our intentional design, and to think deeply about our learners, their families and our communities.
As part of our work, we decided to engage in a project ourselves. That is doing work that has meaning for us and allows to make meaning. As such, we created an eBook which speaks to our professional inquiry. As we explored the literature and interrogated our practice, problems and questions surfaced related to project-based learning.
We are pleased to offer our questions, our reflections, and our designs: Project-based Learning: A Deep Dive into Structure Inquiry.
The crew in my University of Winnipeg Faculty of education Project-Based Learning Applied class created projects for the school suspension period. As teachers, we were devastated that the sense of community we had created in our classrooms might be severed, so we took our theory on intentional design that is geared towards fostering curiosity, inquiry, and community and created these experiences to share with all teachers.
In January of 2019, I will be facilitating a theory course on Project-based learning at the University of Winnipeg as part of the Post Baccalaureate programme. This will be followed by the PBL Applied course in Spring 2019. The description is below:
I have had several people contact me regarding how the course will unfold, so I thought I would post this note as a means to clarify some of the details.
This is an online course that is live. We will meet on Tuesdays (beginning January 8th, 2018) from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm CST via Zoom. While each session will be recorded, members of the group are responsible for attending every Tuesday night. This is not an online course that is static. The advantage of this format is that it provides greater access for more participants while still bringing people together for rich and authentic conversations about how and why we learn. (It also means no winter travel on sketchy roads in the dark.)
Each week, we will engage in readings, guests speakers, virtual field trips, and project work. Participants will be asked to design a project that they can reflect upon throughout the course. Participants will be asked to think, read, listen, write, and speak about the theoretical underpinnings of PBL and about their own practice.
We will use Edmodo as a means for housing our online discussions and course documentation.
Rationale for course
As project-based learning schools become more and more part of the pedagogical mainstream in North America, the need for teacher education in is this area is paramount. While project-based learning can be a powerful platform for authentic learning, transformation, and growth, the danger is that project work is merely activities, teacher-led, or not rigorous. With several PBL schools in Winnipeg, and a desire at all levels, including higher education, to pursue meaningful and educative experiences for learners, a theoretical course on PBL is essential.
This course is designed to offer practitioners a foundational understanding of the evolution of PBL, while examining what we deem an educative experience. Learners will look at a variety of critical issues related to the success of PBL and how PBL manifests itself in various contexts.
At the end of this course, learners will:
- Have explored a variety of different theoretical models of project-based learning
- Will have entered into dialogical discourse as to what is meant by an experience
- Be able to articulate the foundations of project-based learning
- Have conducted an inquiry project whereby they pose a research question, offer an argument, and provide evidence for their rationale
- Articulate how they would theoretically employ project-based learning principles into their own practice
- Describe the process of introducing learners to projects and guide learners to propose and carry out these projects
- Be able to discuss a variety of assessment practices and tools used in project-based learning.
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