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The Problem is the Solution
     PBL in the Social Studies




                        glennw@essdack.org
                ...
Where are we going
today?
Sticky ideas?
Solving problems makes the
 brain happy
It’s not a silver
   bullet, it’s a
     hammer
“I solemnly swear to share any helpful
  resources with my new workshop
  buddies - unless it’s Butch and his
  gang.”
Workshop resources
www.socialstudiescentral.com
Jot down at least one thing you know
  about problem based learning
Each person grab a coin!
PBL is:



and has these characteristics:
Driving question

Is it ever okay to violate the Bill of
  Rights?
How can you develop an valid
 argument so that Congress does
 the right thing concerning the
 compensation of Japanese
 Am...
Using evidence from the WWII
 Japanese American experience,
 contemporary documents and contact
 with mentoring politician...
“Descendants of those of Japanese
descent interned during World War II
should be entitled to financial
compensation from t...
GRASPS
Goal
      Persuade the US Congress to support
  o

      your position concerning financial
      compensation
Role
      ...
Situation
      You have been asked to present
  o

      arguments during committee hearings
      on a bill that would c...
Standards
     Your presentation should be both
 o

     textual and visual and include:
      o Accurate data concerning ...
“Can We Believe This?”
      Buck Institute for Education
  o

      www.bie.org
Based on these two examples and
 “What Does Problem-Based Learning
 Look Like in the Classroom”


PBL is:


And has these ...
What is PBL?

“A way to organize learning around
 ill-structured problems so that
 students simultaneously acquire new
 kn...
Characteristics?

An actual or simulated situation
Problem is “messy”
Student centered
More work than one person can do
  ...
No clear solution
Requires a product or action
Students must have a “stakeholder”
“Raw” data
Add or subtract?
Why PBL?
“The brain developed to solve
problems relating to surviving in an
unstable, outdoor environment and to
do so in near cons...
Can I eat it?
Can it eat
me?
Can I have sex
       with it?
What then . . .
 is your job?
Convince a 14 year
old that writing a five
paragraph essay is
vital for her survival
“If you wanted to
  create an educational
   environment that was
  directly opposed to
what the brain is good at
        ...
“. . . you would
probably design
something like a
modern
classroom.”

John Medina
Brain Rules
Brains
search for
patterns
Won’t store discrete pieces of data
            long-term
So?
So?

Everyone has personalized mental
 models of reality called schema
So?

Everyone has personalized mental
 models of reality called schema
Existing schema are key for new
 learning
In the early 1860s, A______________
issued the Emancipation _____________.
This order freed millions of s___________.
The ...
In the early 1860s, Alexander II issued the
Emancipation Edict. This order freed
millions of serfs. The Czar had the
autho...
emotional
Brains work best when
chemicals are increased
Brains want to
work with
   others
PBLs provide structured patterns
PBLs create emotional connections
PBLs encourage collaborative learning
PBLs become about “survival”
Simpler?
“True learning is based on
 discovery . . . rather than the
 transmission of knowledge.”


	   John Dewey
Oh . . . yeah.
 And there’s
 that whole
 Flat Earth
 thing
Great communications skills
Ability to define problems, gather
  data, create solutions
Play nice in the sandbox
PBL structure

What are some basic assumptions we
 should make concerning PBLs &
 social studies?
History is incomplete & open to
 interpretation
      Facts as “evidence” rather than “truth”
  o


      Urge use of raw ...
History is incomplete & open to
 interpretation
      Facts as “evidence” rather than “truth”
  o


      Urge use of raw ...
Focus on the process / not the
 “correct” answer
Focus on the process / not the
 “correct” answer
Subject matter experts provide
 feedback
Focus on the process / not the
 “correct” answer
Subject matter experts provide
 feedback
Need a hook
Activity should be “ill structured”
      Frustration is good for the brain
  o
Activity should be “ill structured”
      Frustration is good for the brain
  o


Provide access to the same tools &
  tech
Activity should be “ill structured”
      Frustration is good for the brain
  o


Provide access to the same tools &
  tec...
Provide scaffolding
      Process / team building / thinking /
  o

      reading
Provide scaffolding
      Process / team building / thinking /
  o

      reading
Incorporate collaboration
      A balanc...
Other examples?

WebQuests
PBL Online
  www.pbl-online.org
Online sims and video games
WebQuests

“An inquiry-oriented activity in
 which some or all of the information
 that the learner interacts with comes
 ...
WebQuests

Do some searching at the WebQuest
 matrix
      Webquest.org
  o


Nothing?
      Try Google
 o
Online PBLs
Online PBLs

Who Killed William Robinson?
      www.canadianmysteries.ca
  o


What Really Happened at
 Thanksgiving?
    ...
What “squares”
 with your
 thinking?




                    What’s going
                 “around” in your
              ...
Can they be less “intense?”
      Presidential Candidates
  o
What makes a great
           leader?
Who’s who?

1) John Adams
2) Patrick Henry
3) Ben Franklin
4) Thomas Jefferson
5) Benedict Arnold
6) George Washington
Can they be digital?
    Video games & online sims
o
Third World Farmer




                     www.3rdworldfarmer.com
www.knowledgematters.com
www.discoverbabylon.org
www.beyondtimeandspace.org
www.nps.gov/webrangers
www.plimoth.org/education/olc
www.stopdisastersgame.org
www.teamtreks.com
www.educationalsimulations.com
electrocity.co.nz
www.making-history.com
www.peacemakergame.com
Step one

Select knowledge & skills that
 students will demonstrate
      Based on local & state standards
  o
Step two

Develop a driving question
      Organizes and provides focus
  o


      Thought provoking and invites inquiry
...
How can we best protect the Ogallala
 Aquifer?
Can the use of nuclear weapons
 ever be justified?
Which came first - slaver...
Problem template
Problem template

How can we (central issue) . . .
 so that (conditions for acceptable
 solution)
Problem template

How can we (central issue) . . .
 so that (conditions for acceptable
 solution)
Problem template

How can we (central issue) . . .
 so that (conditions for acceptable
 solution)

How can we develop a wa...
What might be the content and skills
 in your next unit?
Driving question ideas?
Problem ideas?
Step three

Develop possible product or
 performance task
      Use GRASPS as a starting point
  o


      Examples?
  o
GRASPS

What is the 	 Goal?
What is the 	 Role?
Who is the 	   Audience?
What is the 	 Situation?
What is the 	 Product / ...
What might be a product or
 performance that is aligned to your
 problem?
Step four

Determine availability of resources &
 tools
      Books, articles, web sites, computers,
  o

      fax machin...
Step five

Map and manage the process
     Create unit “storyboard”
 o


     Differentiated instruction
 o


     Step by ...
Step six

Evaluation
Self-reflection
Is it any good?

The Six A’s & rubric
      Authenticity
  o


      Academic Rigor
  o


      Applied Learning
  o


   ...
Three important points
            to remember?
	   	   	    	




                    Stop! How might I
                 ...
Share out with last coin partner
Sticky ideas?
Solving problems makes the
 brain happy
It’s not a silver
   bullet, it’s a
     hammer
“There are many ways of
going forward, but only one
way of standing still.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt
WE TALKED
ABOUT PBLS.




              Bill Watterson ©1995
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies
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The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies

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The Problem is the Solution: PBL in Social Studies

  1. The Problem is the Solution PBL in the Social Studies glennw@essdack.org February 17, 2009 Glenn Wiebe
  2. Where are we going today?
  3. Sticky ideas?
  4. Solving problems makes the brain happy
  5. It’s not a silver bullet, it’s a hammer
  6. “I solemnly swear to share any helpful resources with my new workshop buddies - unless it’s Butch and his gang.”
  7. Workshop resources www.socialstudiescentral.com
  8. Jot down at least one thing you know about problem based learning
  9. Each person grab a coin!
  10. PBL is: and has these characteristics:
  11. Driving question Is it ever okay to violate the Bill of Rights?
  12. How can you develop an valid argument so that Congress does the right thing concerning the compensation of Japanese Americans interned during World War II?
  13. Using evidence from the WWII Japanese American experience, contemporary documents and contact with mentoring politicians / experts, focus on the following statement:
  14. “Descendants of those of Japanese descent interned during World War II should be entitled to financial compensation from the federal government.”
  15. GRASPS
  16. Goal Persuade the US Congress to support o your position concerning financial compensation Role Japanese American Citizens League, o White House staff, others Audience Senate Judiciary Committee (Principal / o BOE president / Chamber of Commerce president)
  17. Situation You have been asked to present o arguments during committee hearings on a bill that would compensate Japanese Americans interned during WWII and/or their descendants Product You need to prepare an oral argument o for or against the proposed bill
  18. Standards Your presentation should be both o textual and visual and include: o Accurate data concerning the internment Possible consequences of o compensation o Amount / Type of compensation Possible funding sources o o Constitutional arguments
  19. “Can We Believe This?” Buck Institute for Education o www.bie.org
  20. Based on these two examples and “What Does Problem-Based Learning Look Like in the Classroom” PBL is: And has these characteristics:
  21. What is PBL? “A way to organize learning around ill-structured problems so that students simultaneously acquire new knowledge and experience in wrestling with problems.”
  22. Characteristics? An actual or simulated situation Problem is “messy” Student centered More work than one person can do in time allowed
  23. No clear solution Requires a product or action Students must have a “stakeholder” “Raw” data
  24. Add or subtract?
  25. Why PBL?
  26. “The brain developed to solve problems relating to surviving in an unstable, outdoor environment and to do so in near constant motion.” John Medina Brain Rules
  27. Can I eat it?
  28. Can it eat me?
  29. Can I have sex with it?
  30. What then . . . is your job?
  31. Convince a 14 year old that writing a five paragraph essay is vital for her survival
  32. “If you wanted to create an educational environment that was directly opposed to what the brain is good at doing . . .
  33. “. . . you would probably design something like a modern classroom.” John Medina Brain Rules
  34. Brains search for patterns
  35. Won’t store discrete pieces of data long-term
  36. So?
  37. So? Everyone has personalized mental models of reality called schema
  38. So? Everyone has personalized mental models of reality called schema Existing schema are key for new learning
  39. In the early 1860s, A______________ issued the Emancipation _____________. This order freed millions of s___________. The C____________ had the authority to enforce this order. Emancipation alone did not give the former s___________ a new life. Decades of economic hardship and unequal rights continued. A____________’s plan was supported by many.
  40. In the early 1860s, Alexander II issued the Emancipation Edict. This order freed millions of serfs. The Czar had the authority to enforce this order. Emancipation alone did not give the former serfs a new life. Decades of economic hardship and unequal rights continued. Alexander’s plan was supported by many.
  41. emotional Brains work best when chemicals are increased
  42. Brains want to work with others
  43. PBLs provide structured patterns
  44. PBLs create emotional connections
  45. PBLs encourage collaborative learning
  46. PBLs become about “survival”
  47. Simpler?
  48. “True learning is based on discovery . . . rather than the transmission of knowledge.” John Dewey
  49. Oh . . . yeah. And there’s that whole Flat Earth thing
  50. Great communications skills Ability to define problems, gather data, create solutions Play nice in the sandbox
  51. PBL structure What are some basic assumptions we should make concerning PBLs & social studies?
  52. History is incomplete & open to interpretation Facts as “evidence” rather than “truth” o Urge use of raw evidence o
  53. History is incomplete & open to interpretation Facts as “evidence” rather than “truth” o Urge use of raw evidence o Different “levels” of PBL Quick “opener” up to several weeks o
  54. Focus on the process / not the “correct” answer
  55. Focus on the process / not the “correct” answer Subject matter experts provide feedback
  56. Focus on the process / not the “correct” answer Subject matter experts provide feedback Need a hook
  57. Activity should be “ill structured” Frustration is good for the brain o
  58. Activity should be “ill structured” Frustration is good for the brain o Provide access to the same tools & tech
  59. Activity should be “ill structured” Frustration is good for the brain o Provide access to the same tools & tech Don’t get too involved
  60. Provide scaffolding Process / team building / thinking / o reading
  61. Provide scaffolding Process / team building / thinking / o reading Incorporate collaboration A balance of individual / group / o outside expert work is important
  62. Other examples? WebQuests PBL Online www.pbl-online.org Online sims and video games
  63. WebQuests “An inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that the learner interacts with comes from resources on the Internet” Bernie Dodge 1995
  64. WebQuests Do some searching at the WebQuest matrix Webquest.org o Nothing? Try Google o
  65. Online PBLs
  66. Online PBLs Who Killed William Robinson? www.canadianmysteries.ca o What Really Happened at Thanksgiving? www.plimoth.org/education/olc/ o index_js2.html
  67. What “squares” with your thinking? What’s going “around” in your head right now?
  68. Can they be less “intense?” Presidential Candidates o
  69. What makes a great leader?
  70. Who’s who? 1) John Adams 2) Patrick Henry 3) Ben Franklin 4) Thomas Jefferson 5) Benedict Arnold 6) George Washington
  71. Can they be digital? Video games & online sims o
  72. Third World Farmer www.3rdworldfarmer.com
  73. www.knowledgematters.com
  74. www.discoverbabylon.org
  75. www.beyondtimeandspace.org
  76. www.nps.gov/webrangers
  77. www.plimoth.org/education/olc
  78. www.stopdisastersgame.org
  79. www.teamtreks.com
  80. www.educationalsimulations.com
  81. electrocity.co.nz
  82. www.making-history.com
  83. www.peacemakergame.com
  84. Step one Select knowledge & skills that students will demonstrate Based on local & state standards o
  85. Step two Develop a driving question Organizes and provides focus o Thought provoking and invites inquiry o Have no simple answers o Kid friendly o
  86. How can we best protect the Ogallala Aquifer? Can the use of nuclear weapons ever be justified? Which came first - slavery or racism? Was FDR the best president ever? Are there modern day “witch trials?” What’s the best form of government?
  87. Problem template
  88. Problem template How can we (central issue) . . . so that (conditions for acceptable solution)
  89. Problem template How can we (central issue) . . . so that (conditions for acceptable solution)
  90. Problem template How can we (central issue) . . . so that (conditions for acceptable solution) How can we develop a water use policy so that natural resources and the economy of western Kansas are both protected?
  91. What might be the content and skills in your next unit? Driving question ideas? Problem ideas?
  92. Step three Develop possible product or performance task Use GRASPS as a starting point o Examples? o
  93. GRASPS What is the Goal? What is the Role? Who is the Audience? What is the Situation? What is the Product / Performance? What are the Standards for evaluation?
  94. What might be a product or performance that is aligned to your problem?
  95. Step four Determine availability of resources & tools Books, articles, web sites, computers, o fax machines, people
  96. Step five Map and manage the process Create unit “storyboard” o Differentiated instruction o Step by step work plan o Be willing to “improvise” along the o way
  97. Step six Evaluation Self-reflection
  98. Is it any good? The Six A’s & rubric Authenticity o Academic Rigor o Applied Learning o Active Exploration o Adult Connections o Assessment Practices o
  99. Three important points to remember? Stop! How might I implement what I’ve learned?
  100. Share out with last coin partner
  101. Sticky ideas?
  102. Solving problems makes the brain happy
  103. It’s not a silver bullet, it’s a hammer
  104. “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
  105. WE TALKED ABOUT PBLS. Bill Watterson ©1995

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