Irrelevantly Relevant

 Wordle: project based learning

In project based learning we expect our students to create projects. Students are supposed to research and link all the subjects together and present their projects with the use of technology.

This year we tried to use it in our classes but we still have some question marks.

  1. Should we always define a problem in PBL and try to solve it?
  2. How should they come up with problems?

Say if the main subject is language arts and the topic is music and if a student says we don’t listen to good quality music, will that be a problem?

  1. Or should all the problems be from science or maths?
  2. Can I ask my students to read a novel and create a project around it. Let’s say, The Graet Gatsby and The Jazz Age or Jane Austin and Women’s Place in 19th Century. What can be the problems in these projects?
  3. If a group of students writes a musical and stages it instead of powerpoint presentation with lots of researched info, will that be acceptable?

Actually all the things I wrote above happened last week. Last year we had a series of workshops and we were told how we should use PBL.

 Here at 10th grade students choose to study foreign languages, science and mathematics or social studies or mathematics. If a language class writes a musical and stages it and if they explain, blues, human rights, rock’n roll and folklore in the same piece, it is great for me.However, some colleagues argued that it was a great musical but cannot be regarded as a project presentation.

My question to you is can this be regarded a project presentation or not? If not, what should they have done?

Well, I need some advice…

6 comments on “Irrelevantly Relevant
  1. Dearest Eva,

    In Portugal,we only have something that remotely resembles PBL. It’s called Project Area and I’m sad to say, but I very seldom see it developed like it’s supposed to. We too are stuck in the presentation mode. The kids hate it and find it very boring. But still we do it year after year. 🙁
    I totally agree with you, if my students were to write a musical, stage it, explain blues, human rights, rock’n roll and folklore in the same piece, that would be more within the spirit of what I like to think PBL is, than a mere presentation. But like I said my experience with PBL is limited, so here are 3 links that might help you get the answers you are looking for- ; ;

  2. Seems silly to me to only consider presentations as projects. PBL should be any project the kids do, whether it’s a play, musical, or research paper. I don’t think it has to be centered around a problem although it’s one useful way to do it.

  3. Nick,
    Thanks, I completely agree with you but I just needed some support 🙂
    Thanks for both your comment and the links. seems I’ll do some reading during my summer holiday.;)

  4. Well, I’m glad you said it’s just support you need because then I feel comfortable saying – Eva, go with your gut.

    Learning isn’t about following a prescribed set of rules, it’s about tasting the passion of growing.

    Ignore the think-out-of-a-box-its… and

    Kudos on the kids for making a musical: Idda been one proud teacher.


  5. The students enjoyed doing it, the teachers also loved it but couldn’t decide what it was.
    Well, there is no need to name everything, though, as long as there is a wish to learn and create.Most probably we will discuss it again and again next year too because of that I need more voices.
    Thank you Kareene for the comment.

  6. The musical seems like a very ambitious project for anyone to undertake. It seems to me that if you analyzed the skills needed to pull it off, the skills would be more extensive than giving a presentation. I think there is a problem that they start with; the problem is how to get a group of people to work together to create an event. I would be delighted to have such a passionate group of students.

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