Interest-Based LearningBuilding new curriculum resources for engagement and education David Hunter, MiT
Outline of today’s talk• Introduce myself• Connections to Moodle• Why IBL?• Introduce Interest-Based Learning• Zombie-Based Learning (an example)• Response to ZBL• Who would IBL empower?• What would we need to do?• Recap
Who Am I?• Teacher – Masters in Teaching – Social Studies / Language Arts – Seattle, USA• Curriculum Designer• Project-Based Learning• Blended classrooms• Professional Dancer
Who Was I?• Merchant Mariner• Dishwasher• High School Dropout – Couldn’t connect learning and schoolSo Now…• Very interested in engaging students• Promoting the power of education• Promoting the fun of learning
Interest-Based Learning and Moodle• Open source• Built on community• Worldwide network
Why Interest-Based LearningAddress these issues:Student EngagementEffective lessonsTeaching to high academic standardsRelate learning to the real worldEncourage deeper thinkingPromote 21st Century Skills
Interest-Based Learning• Project-Based or Problem-Based Learning• Set through the lens of different interests
PBL (Project/Problem Based Learning)• What is PBL?Extended process of inquiry in response to complex questions, problems, or challengesRigorousLearn Academic content and 21st Century skills Collaboration Communication Critical thinking
Interest-Based Learning• Project-Based or Problem-Based Learning• Set through the lens of different interests• Allowing Student Choice – Curriculum – Application• Creating connections to real world applications• Encourage deeper thought• Encourage multiple modes of application
What it would look like:• Multiple curricula for students and teachers to choose from• Standards-based• Real-life or narrative driven• Could be local• Open-source + Shared• Similar framework to encourage sharing
How it could work:• Students and teachers go to a source of Interest-Based Curricula• They choose the learning standard or concept they are going to learn• (For example: G-MG.3. Apply geometric methods to solve design problems)• Students could choose the interest they want to learn through.
Through this resourceThere would be a menu of curriculaCould learn through:ZombiesSkateboardingFashion designGraphic designEngineeringEtc…
The Curricula Comes From…• Teachers• Community Members• ProfessionalsEach would follow a similar framework andinclude Real-life or narrative-based applications
Intro to Zombie-Based Learning• Includes all Middle School Geography Standards (5-8th grade)• Standards based on the “Geography for Life” standards created by multiple geographic professionals and organizations• Narrative set in a Zombie Apocalypse• Problems, projects, scenarios for learning are set within the narrative
The Standards• 18 Standards set within 6 sections1. The World in Spatial Terms2. Places and Regions3. Physical Systems4. Human Systems5. Environment and Society6. The Uses of Geography
The Standards• Standards designed with the outcome to be a person:• “who sees meaning in the arrangement of things in space;• who sees relations between people, places, and environments;• who uses geographic skills;• and who applies spatial and ecological perspectives to life situations” Geography for Life, 1994
The Narrative• Students encounter all concepts• In a “realistic” way• In a Zombie Apocalypse
Preparing for the OutbreakStandard: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, andtechnologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspectiveExample Application: An outbreak might be heading your way.Using data, students map the movement of the zombie infections.
Post-Outbreak SurvivalStandard: How to use mental maps to organize information about people, placesand environments in a spatial contextExample Application: Using Mental Maps to navigate.
Finding a New SettlementStandard: The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, andimportance of resourcesExample Application: Based on resources, climate, hazards, and physicalgeography, students develop a plan for finding new places to settle.
Building a New CommunityStandard: The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlementExample Application: Discuss requirements for new community and developmodels to grow and construct a safe and sustainable community, based on actualfacts of community growth.
Planning for the FutureStandard: How to apply Geography to interpret the present and plan for the futureExample Application: Develop innovative, specific, and long termrecommendations for rebuilding a working society.
Response to Zombie-Based Learning• Teachers• Education professionals• Geography Professors• Home-school parents• Former students• Zombie enthusiasts• Text book creators• Video game studios
Why so Positive?• Is it just zombies?• Is it just geography?• Is it a new way to learn?• Is it an interesting way to learn?
What if we created a network ofTeachers and Community Members todesign Interest-Based Lessons like ZBL?Who would it empower andwhat would it require?
Empowering CurriculumInterest-Based Learning Empowers• Students• Teachers• Community Professionals
How IBL Empowers Students• Choices based on individual interests• Explore realistic applications• Explore conceptual connections• Foster creativity• Encourages connections to local world and personal life
How IBL Empowers Teachers• View teachers as professionals who make important decisions regarding student learning• Expects effective curriculum, puts emphasis on effective teaching• Provides tools to practice modifying curricula
How IBL Empowers Community Professionals• Teaches professionals to create lessons and curricula• Challenges community members to show how they use academic skills in the real world• Creates connections between school and professionals in the community
What would creating this community require?• Educating teachers and community members on effective curriculum design• Framework of effective IBL curriculum
What would effective IBL framework include?• Consistent, but openLesson plansAuthentic Assessments (Pre, Post, Formative)RubricsStandards-based Learning ObjectivesReal-life connectionsProject and Creative outlets
Recap• Combine Project or Problem-Based Learning• With an INTEREST or real-life APPLICATION• Design a curriculum based on high academic standards• Make it open to everyone• Repeat ad infinitum to create more engaging teaching resources