Transformational Learning: Using the Inquiry Approach Overview for Year Two PLPeeps
Obstacles “The biggest obstacle to school change is our memories.” -- Dr. Allen Glenn
ChangeWe are living in a new economy -- powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge --"Futureworks: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century" (U.S. Department of Labor)
Technoconstructivism Technoconstructivism, the blending of constructivist pedagogy with educational technology, puts students at the center and in charge of their own learning.
Digital Age Skills• Teamwork• Collaboration• problem solving• research gathering• time management• information synthesizing• utilizing high tech tools• self direction and adaptability
Twenty-first-century skills• personal and social responsibility• planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity• strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs• cross-cultural understanding• visualizing and decision making• knowing how and when to use technology and choosing the most appropriate tool for the task
Types of Constructivist Learning• Project-driven- An approach to learning focusing on developing a product or creation. Usually tied to a theme and cross disciplinary studies.• Problem-based- An approach to learning focusing on the process of solving a problem or scenario and acquiring knowledge.• Inquiry-driven-In inquiry-based learning environments, students are engaged in activities that help them actively pose questions, investigate, solve problems, and draw conclusions about the world around them.
Elements of Inquiry Based Learning1. Authenticity2. Deep Understanding (academic rigor)3. Assessment4. Appropriate Use of Technology5. Beyond the School6. Connecting with Experts7. Active Exploration8. Performances of Understanding9. Elaborated Communication10. Ethical Citizenship11. Student Successes
Inquiry Based Learning“ Instead of pouring knowledge into peoples heads, we need to help them grind a new set of glasses, so they can see the world in a new way. That involves challenging the implicit assumptions that have shaped the way people have historically looked at things..” -- John Seeley Brown
What is Project-Based Learning?• PBL is curriculum fueled and standards based.• PBL asks a question or poses a problem that ALL students can answer. Concrete, hands-on experiences come together during project- based learning.• PBL allows students to investigate issues and topics in real-world problems.• PBL fosters abstract, intellectual tasks to explore complex issues.
Uses Authentic Assessment • Allows teachers to have multiple assessment opportunities. • Allows a child to demonstrate his or her capabilities while working independently. (includes performance based assessments) • Shows the student’s ability to apply desired skills such as doing research. • Develops the student’s ability to work with his or her peers, building teamwork and group skills. • Provides the opportunity for reaching outside the classroom walls and develop personal learning networks around expertise. • It allows the teacher to learn more about the child as a whole person. • It helps the teacher(s) communicate in progressive and meaningful ways with the student or a group of students on a range ofPhoto credit: Ben Wilkoff issues. (mentor/apprenticeship relationships)
How Does Project-Based Learning Work?Select and research topic:• Make sure the topic is of personal interest to you and the students and that it is based on their needs and developmental levels. Consult the state and local curriculum guides, teacher’s editions of textbooks, trade books on the topic, and other expert learners. Involve the children in planning.Identify concepts/brainstorm topic:• Identify key concepts or subtopics related to the theme of the project. A semantic map is an excellent way to visualize and brainstorm content related to a theme. Use K-W-L with the children for their input about what they want to know. Get ownership through their questions.Locate materials and resources:• Locate diverse materials and resources related to the topic, i.e., children’s literature, films, manipulatives, music, arts/crafts, resources, and people from your Web community. Utilize diverse global perspectives.Plan learning experiences:• Develop a variety of learning experiences related to the topic. Include hands-on activities using concrete objects. Plan for small and large group activities, learning centers/stations, independent research, exploration, problem-solving, using both divergent/convergent learning activities.
Use Internet resources and models whengathering materials and planning learning experiences. – Online Correspondence and Exchanges: Involves setting up keypal (e-mail penpal) connections between your students, their online peers, and subject matter experts (SMEs) like scientists and engineers working in the field. Also includes the formation of learning communities. – Information Gathering: These projects challenge students to use the Internet to collect, analyze, compare, and reflect upon different sources of information. – Problem-Solving and Competitions: Online competitions are projects through which students must use the Internet and other sources to solve problems while competing with other classrooms. Student created learning products are an outcome. – WebQuests and Artifact Creation: Online learning activities in which students explore and collect a body of online information and make sense of it – from an inquiry-driven approach. – Online Conferencing: Students use asynchronous and synchronous learning environments or audio or video conferencing software to collaborate and complete various project objectives
Guidelines to PBL ContinuedIntegrate content areas:• Use a webbing approach to organize concepts and activities into content areas: the arts, sciences, social studies, mathematics, literature, and technology. The goal is seamless integration of all content area learning within the planned activities.Organize the learning environment:• Consider space, time, materials, learning experiences, teacher/learner roles, methods of assessment and evaluation.Initiate integrated/interdisciplinary study:• Arouse students’ curiosity and interest with stimulating introduction. Consider visual display of theme as well as introductory activities.Culminating activity:• Bring closure to the theme by concluding with an event. Incorporate parent involvement, collaboration with other classes both in the school and the blogosphere, and allow students to use technology to enhance learning and celebrate success!Assessment and authentic evaluation:• Use assessment and evaluation which may include the following: “kidwatching,” observations, anecdotal records, checklists, conferences, informal interviews, rubrics and digital portfolios.
Question• Take a real-world topic and begin an in-depth investigation• Start with the Essential question(s).• Have students do a concept map with you around the topic. (You have already created one during your planning)• KWL• Questions from group to research
Plan• Plan which content standards will be addressed while answering the question. (I start with my concept map, then I break into a topic map, then I match standards)• Involve students in the questioning, planning, and project-building process. (I decide which areas I will teach and then I put them in cooperative learning groups of mixed ability and let them choice their area to become experts)• Teacher and students brainstorm activities that support the inquiry.(I use a tic tac toe activity chart. Groups will choose three to do.)
Schedule• Teacher and students design a timeline for project components.• Set benchmarks--Keep it simple and age- appropriate.• Learning contracts help with individual passions.• Learning stations help support exploration and discovery• Schedule individual and group meetings with you.• Schedule initiating and culminating events well in advanced.
Collaboration• Make collaboration a key component• Let the kids help plan and make decisions, and have them do the work in pairs or small teams• One of the great things about the Internet is that kids can collaborate across great distances. Try contacting a classroom across the country (or across the ocean) in a place your kids would like to learn about. – Your classes can exchange email or start an instant- message conversation. (Skype – Video Conferencing) – You use a wiki to work together to show how things are the same and different in each community.
Monitor• Facilitate the process• Mentor the process• Document the process What are some ways to document?
Assess• Make the assessment authentic.• Know authentic assessment will require more time and effort from the teacher.• Vary the type of assessment used.• Electronic portfolios work well (video, podcasts, and digital pics of work)
Evaluate• Take time to reflect, individually and as a group.• Share feelings and experiences.• Discuss what worked well.• Discuss what needs change.• Share ideas that will lead to new inquiries, thus new projects.
In your groupsIntroduce yourselves to each other quickly. Name, school, grade, twitter nameWork in your passion-driven groups and start to brainstorm essential questions around your topic. What is it you wonder? What do you want to know?What will be the context of your unit? What will be the purpose? The so what?