Seven years ago I became a brand- new educator for the second time. Though I was in a comfortable position in a well- established school of good repute, I needed something more, though, at the time, I didn't know exactly what that was. Then, something came along at just the right moment. Our school corporation took a leap of faith by starting a Project- Based Learning program, a courageous move that has changed the educational landscape of our community and region.
In a 2018 survey of business executives and hiring managers conducted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, researchers identified the skills they most looked for when vetting potential employees. According to the key findings from this study, the top five intellectual and practical skills that employers and hiring managers seek in candidates are oral communication, teamwork skills with diverse groups, written communication, critical thinking and analytic reasoning, and complex problem solving.
t is -5 degrees outside (or at least it felt like it for months), so ask yourself this: are you ready for the summer? My guess is that if you are reading an educational blog right now, you are probably also thinking about your next educational aspirations. We hope those aspirations include taking a four-day Project-Based Learning journey with us.
Having taught the first eight of my sixteen years in a traditional classroom and my last eight in a project-based learning (PBL) program, I am often asked to describe the differences between the two styles. For me, the answer seems to come down to one word: authenticity. So, with this being my first blog ever, I feel the need to start there. I want to examine a few aspects of what it means to be authentic in teaching and how in these two teaching styles I viewed authenticity differently.
At any given time, students at CSA Central could have four different projects happening at the same time, two for 7th grade and two for 8th grade. Our goal is to create authentic projects that benefit the community. We have taken on the project-based learning philosophy in our classrooms and are developing a culture where students understand that they are part of a community, both at school and at home.