Make your teaching a PBL project

Do you feel like you are doing all the work in class? Explaining and explaining… and sometimes it might feel like it was all for nothing when you see test results. Maybe you need to make a Project in which you study yourself.

So here’s a challenge: ask yourself, what does it mean to really learn something? To start answering that question, think back to a time when you yourself really learned something. What happened? What made it a learning experience?

Now gather some information (maybe use a mindmap) about what is happening in your classroom. How? You could:

  • ask your peer partner to observe with the task of noting instances of real learning.
  • take a video of a lesson.
  • ask your students via a questionnaire or discussion.
  • interrogate deeply why a particular topic was or was not answered well in the recent exams.
  • research about how other teachers around the world are approaching teaching specific topics that you feel you could approach differently.

When you have lots of information, you need to process it into a useful form. You might want to try as a way of arranging ideas in a flexible way. Or try using the outline in Docs to arrange your ideas under heading levels. Maybe a spreadsheet could help you to arrange some of the data and make a graph or two? Look for themes. Try to see some possibilities for ideas to try out. Then try out those ideas and get more feedback. Make comparisons. 

From what you have learned from the process, you should have some valuable ideas to present to your department, the staff or other audience (e.g. Coalition meeting).

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