PBL Update June 2020
Kia ora koutou,
It has been great to be back in the classroom and working face to face with our students in PBL classes. At this stage of the process, much of what happens in the these classes is extensive questioning to help students delve deeper into what the issue is that they are seeking to address and why it’s an issue, before we get to the how of addressing it. This requires fairly intense one on one time between teacher and student and unfortunately this was unable to happen for many students over lockdown. So, now that we are back, we have begun afresh with renewed vigour.
The process of researching their topic and writing up their proposal to meet the more rigorous deep learning requirements of this second iteration of PBL seems a bit of a drag for some students because they would just like to get on with the “doing” – creating a final outcome. However, increased academic rigour is an important part of this new iteration. For example, below are just a few indicators that PBL is as much about the learning as it is about the doing.
Over the weekend I looked through the wide range of projects that our students are proposing. It was a humbling and heart-warming experience. Our Year 8 – 10 students are actively looking to bring our Catholic Special Character to life in a myriad of ways as this small sampling illustrates: combating casual racism, working to prevent the pollution of our oceans, providing organic produce to families in need, providing sports equipment to schools in need, helping new migrants to Gore to settle in, advocating for healthier eating at school and in the wider community, creating curricula for primary school students with dyslexia, researching sustainable energy solutions for our school, gaming for the hearing impaired, mental health awareness, educating people about living with ADHD, creating awareness of strokes and stroke prevention, designing sunhats for school to prevent skin cancer… Check in with your child – is he or she part of one of these projects?
This morning I worked with two young people who are looking to combat the absence of recognition from the mainstream media of the vital role that farmers play in the life of New Zealand and the toll that this can have on them. I also worked with a young man who is considering how to educate people on the importance of Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Maori for us as a nation. How proud must the parents of these students be when they read this! Next week we’ll begin our regular weekly student contributions about their projects, so watch this space.
In conclusion, how proud should we all be that this is what is happening at St Peter’s College! Project Based Learning is our Catholic Special Character in action!
Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning