Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about project or challenge based learning. There are a whole range of articles and sites dedicated to contributing to the discussion surrounding the benefits of this ‘method’ of learning with this site in particular providing many examples of challenges that could be used within education. Below, you will find a fantastic video showing how such an approach can be implemented in a classroom, with superb results that have clearly impacted children’s learning in a wide range of ways.
The video shows learners who are fully taking control of their learning, steering the direction of the task and applying their knowledge in a range of areas with great independence and confidence, utilising a range of technology along the way. Embedded throughout is a sense of real purpose. These children are being set a challenge with genuine real world links and the work they produce has many authentic benefits to real people.
Looking forward to next year, I am hoping that myself and my partner teacher in Year 6 can achieve something similar to this in our classrooms. I am lucky enough to be working with a very forward thinking and progressive team, in a school who are looking at developing the design of the curriculum. The key to success with this approach is that children are given authentic challenges or problems to solve. See here for a great article explaining why this is so important and for examples of how this can be achieved. With this in mind, I’d like to use my PLN to gather some real world challenges to set my class.
Using Google Docs, I’m hoping to gather some ideas for challenges that I can set my class, who will then attempt to generate ideas for how to solve them and present their ideas (however they choose to) before posting the results online for others to evaluate and discuss.
So, I’d like you to #challengemyclass!
If you have any challenges that you are facing in your community/job/school or if you wish to set a bigger, global challenge that you think would be suitable for a class to solve, then please add them to the Google document below. No challenge is too complex and all are welcome! Hopefully, this could become a resource for others to use with their classes too. The way you wish to set your challenge is up to you. It could be in the form of a simple question to frame the challenge, or you may wish to provide more information, accompanying the challenge with a video or audio clip.
I’m hoping to set some of these challenges for my current class before next year and I know they will be excited and willing to accept. I’m not sure how this project will go, or how the ideas will be added to the document. If you wish to edit the document in anyway then please feel free! Any questions, just let me know on twitter (@alexgingell).