For a class taught by a teacher with little knowledge of Alaska, I came out of the course having learned so much about the state and excited to learn more. I think the biggest takeaway for me is that, through the project based learning approach, I learned so much more than I would have if I had been given a specific topic to study or memorize or write about. By eliminating the subject boundaries, I believe I went deeper and broader than I otherwise would have. It was tough to be handed an assignment that I had no prior knowledge about, I had to come up with my own questions and consider the path I chose carefully. In the end that freedom was very rewarding. I also appreciate that we worked in teams; it was helpful to have peers that I could bounce ideas off of or go to when I needed technical help. I think in a classroom full of kids I would be more careful about how students were grouped, but in this situation- with no background knowledge of each other- it was good to find that balance on our own. It also freed up the teacher to work logistics beyond our abilities, spend time with each group, and help one on one if problems were too challenging for other class members to help with.
I can’t wait to check out the book(s)!