PBL; removing limitations

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)!

One thought on “PBL; removing limitations”

  1. Meghan,

    I agree that it is surprising for an Alaska Studies course to be taught by someone that hasn’t interacted with Alaska culture too often. I assume that he knows certain information about Alaska as a whole, but he is not an expert on everything Alaska, and was certainly not an expert on everything Culture-based about Alaska. However, I 100% agree with you that I have learned an abundance from this class through this project. Peter found a way to have us, as a class, learn about Alaska. Each of us became a little bit of experts on the regions that we were researching. I think it is important to interact with the culture if possible. I think that was the importance of going to SLAM.

    This technique and project has given many people in our class, or at least me, ideas on future projects. It is also ice to remember that teachers are still learning as they grow older. Teachers do not know everything, but with PBL it was easy for students to learn on their own in creative ways.

    Thank you for your post,
    Mason Shearer

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