Scaffolding Teacher Implementation of PBLs Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Supporting Teacher Change • Collaboration • Classroom enactment • Reflection of teacher learning “Teachers may gravitate toward those activities that are most familiar, rather than those that are most productive for learning.”
Teachers’ PBL planning efforts Key Tasks During Planning Phase • Designing or Planning Problem Scenario (the “driving question”) • Gathering relevant resources • Creating student ownership in the identified problem
Identifying “The Driving Question” A good driving question is defined as one that is meaningful to students, includes relevant content, involves authentic problem solving, lends itself to collaboration, and is broad enough to permit students to develop their own questions & investigations. (Lehman, Ertmer, Keck, & Steele, 2001)
Identifying “The Driving Question” Possible Sources • Newspaper, journal articles, radio broadcasts, recent legal cases, current community issues, ongoing policy debates, film plots, curriculum guides, units of study.
Identifying “The Driving Question” Questions to ask yourself • Would my students experience significant content learning by working on this situation? • Would the content fit my curricular needs? • Is the content appropriate for my students? • Can a PBL be built around this situation?
Locating & Gathering Resources If there are limited resources available, or if available resources are beyond students’ reading or comprehension levels, the question, no matter how authentic or interesting, will not inspire deep thinking.
Locating & Gathering Resources The lack of prepared materials for classroom instruction creates barriers to the implementation of PBL. Begin the planning process by visualizing the activities that will take place during the unit, and thenidentify resources students will need at specific times.
Locating & Gathering Resources For example, remind your students that research is about finding answers to questions. Teach students to use note cards in a purposeful, systematic manner. Have students use a question as a header that the subsequent notes answer.This will help focus their research and organize their facts.
Locating & Gathering Resources Teachers need to determine if technology is truly integral to the students’ work or whether its supplemental. Plans need to be made regarding how the resources will be managed and shared by the students as well as how activities will be completed if technology is not accessible when needed.
Student ownership in the problem Experienced PBL teachers recommend getting students thinking about the problem before the unit begins. Plant seeds of curiosity weeks in advance.
Student ownership in the problem • Assign student roles • Use concrete activities (videos, field trips, guest speakers) • The greater students’ involvement in an issue, the greater their investment in its solution and the harder they will work
Student ownership in the problem • Ease students into their roles and responsibilities. • Provide prompts to help students think about the problem. • Encourage students to seek out sub-issues embedded within the overarching problem.
Student ownership in the problem • Create a culture of collaboration and interdependence. • Provide opportunities for students to self-assess and reflect on their learning. • Daily goal sheets • Problem logs • Cornell note reflections