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Progressive Education and Project Based Learning at Kazoo School What we do How we do it Why we do it.

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Presentation on theme: "Progressive Education and Project Based Learning at Kazoo School What we do How we do it Why we do it."— Presentation transcript:

1 Progressive Education and Project Based Learning at Kazoo School What we do How we do it Why we do it

2 Kazoo School Kazoo School is a small, independent, progressive, Pre-K - 8th grade school in Kalamazoo, MI.

3 What is a Progressive School? As Jim Nehring at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell observed, “Progressive schools are the legacy of a long and proud tradition of thoughtful school practice stretching back for centuries” — including hands-on learning, multiage classrooms, and mentor-apprentice relationships. Progressive education doesn’t lend itself to a single fixed definition. Any two educators who describe themselves as sympathetic to this tradition may well see it differently, or at least disagree about which features are the most important.

4 Progressive Education is: Despite such variations, there are enough elements on which most of us can agree so that a common core of progressive education emerges: Attending to the whole child -- Intrinsic Motivation Community -- Collaboration Social justice-- Deep understanding Active learning -- Taking kids seriously

5 Why implement Project Based Learning? Today’s students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge. In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions.

6 Intro to PBL

7 The Collaborative Classroom: Social and Emotional Learning Traditional academic approaches won’t develop learners who are critical thinkers or effective writers and speakers. Rather, students need to take part in complex, meaningful projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration.

8 PBL in the Primary Classroom: Learning about Magnetism Hands-On Learning

9 What sticks? Conducting experiments to find answers Plastic spider does not stick!

10 Collaborative Learning Working together to create meaning

11 Magnet Maze Engaged in Learning

12 Lines of Magnetic Force Focused, cooperative learners

13 Competent, confident students Learning and having fun!

14 Magnetic Racing Hot Wheels Making connections

15 Magnetic poles Fun with trains!

16 Science Night! Sharing our learning with the community Magnetic Fish Pond Student Made Displays

17 Science Night Teaching others what we have learned

18 Project Based Learning Why teach this way? -Real world problems capture students' interest and provoke serious and critical thinking -Students learn to collaborate and share ideas -Depth vs. Breadth - students explore topics more fully and develop deeper understanding -Students learn to solve problems and make decisions independently -Students develop competence and confidence

19 Student Inspired Projects Haitian Earthquake 2010

20 Environmental Stewardship Native tallgrass prairie restoration at Ft. Custer Recreation Area

21 Kleinstuck Preserve Collaborative Plot Studies Individual Observation & Recording

22 Project Based Learning in Upper Elementary Science: Knotweed Project

23 Upper Elementary: Literature Projects Students create dioramas, game boards, posters, plays, models and more to share their understanding of literature.

24 Basegroup Buddies Older students pair with younger 'buddies' to serve as mentors, role models, project helpers, and field trip 'chaperones'.

25 Computers and Projects Every 4th and 5th grader is provided a laptop for school use.

26 Social Studies Projects in the Upper Elementary: The Constitution Students learn the basics with hands-on projects.

27 More Constitution add some fun

28 Using New Knowledge: Making Laws Student "Legislators" presenting the bills that became laws during the Legislative Session.

29 Social Studies in the Upper Elem. Grades:Regions of the United States A race to find the important features of our United States Regions Your Mission: Create a series of clues that will direct the players to important geographical, cultural, historical, or recreational features of your region. Your Challenge: Use your research skills to find the important features about each of the states in your region in order to create good clues for your contestants.

30 So, why isn't there more Project Based Learning? -More teacher preparation -Greater involvement with Students -Teacher as Facilitator vs. All-knowing Teacher -Assessing a Project vs. Grading a Test -Managing Group Dynamics and Conflict -PBL teaches skills (planning, problem solving, collaboration, deep thinking) that are not easily measured by standardized testing.

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32 Your Challenge -Decide how you want to teach. -If progressive, project- and inquiry-based learning resonates with your style and your philosophy of teaching and learning, seek out independent or public schools that support these ideas for your internships as well as for your future teaching positions.

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