HTH instructors break down key components that make a well designed project in the context of project based learning (PBL). They explain how student reflection during a project helps both the instructor and student gauge where they are at in a project and what they can take away from it.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Not all students have the same lived experiences. But school provides a context for shared reflection, which is really how we support all students. We transform experience into expertise through reflection.
I’m constantly thinking, reflecting throughout the project. And I’m also having the kids constantly reflect throughout the project. That’s where all the learning comes from. I can give them Newton law all day, but I’m feeding them knowledge. And that’s what we call banking pedagogy. And that’s not going to do anything. Because at the end of the day, if they don’t have a really deep understanding of this, they’re going to lose it.
Often, one student’s experience is so different from another student’s experience of the same thing that we want to make sure that students are getting a chance to hear from each other and share with each other. And so we lean a lot on discourse processes in the classroom to get kids to actually share the things they’re learning and then discover from each other so that when we’re moving on to the next step, it feels like a shared activity and a shared mission rather than individual students learning separately.
Reflections, no matter how long they are, they always help me shape the missing pieces that I’m not seeing. It’s so important for me to try and better understand what my students are understanding, what they’re gleaning, what moments stood out to them.
So that could be a blog post where a student records a really high-quality, shareable testimonial about where they’re at and a couple of photos of their projects so far that are annotated like a caption that goes along with them and forecasts like “and this is what’s coming next.” It’s this constant cycle that happens where this is how I know what’s happening with every student in the class at all times. And this is how their parents know what’s happening. And this is what I can share out to other educators to share my own learning and share what’s happening in my classroom. It makes it easier for us to check the temperature of how things are going in the classroom.
As we go throughout the semester, they start seeing themselves grow in lots of different ways that maybe they didn’t expect themselves to. They not only are growing in their content knowledge, but I ask them to reflect on their role as a group member, the ways that they communicated their ideas to the class, the ways that they made connections with people across the room. What went well for you today? What didn’t go well for you today? And I’ll often share that back with the students the next day. So reflection is critical in both learning the content and in making sure that you are developing as a critical thinker and a learner and a collaborator.