In this “one minute hit” Alec corrects a basic misunderstanding about what a project is
[MUSIC PLAYING] There are two questions I hear a lot from visitors to High Tech High that are totally different and both based on the same misconception about project-based learning. The first question is, how much time should we be spending on PBL during the week? And the second question is, is it still OK to give lectures?
The answer to both of these questions is that a project isn’t a specific kind of lesson. It’s a specific kind of unit. So where a traditional history teacher would say, for the next 12 weeks, we’re doing a unit on the Protestant Reformation, a project-based teacher might say, in 12 weeks, we’re going to be preparing short plays about European religious leaders at a theater festival downtown. Let’s get to work.
Over the course of those 12 weeks, students write scripts and rehearse, but they also read about the Reformation, learn special vocabulary, study how to write dialogue and see description, and the teacher might even give a lecture too. So it doesn’t make sense to say the PBL lesson happens after lunch on Tuesday, because the project isn’t a type of lesson; it’s a type of unit. And you’re still allowed to give lectures, because you can do pretty much anything that helps your students get ready to premiere those plays.