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Jeansonne | August 18, 2017

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Teaching one student a week.

I was thinking that policy developers want 21st century project based learning with factory model class size and composition?

I remember a classmate dropping out in grade 3 to go work on fishing boats. Children who lived in poverty went to work. Teens who struggled with learning differences and were ‘good with their hands’ could find a good paying job in a trade that did not require a college degree to understand the manuals. People with special needs may not have even entered a school.  The ‘factory classroom’ was relatively homogeneous because social and economic pressures were not inclusive.  When we had the ‘factory’ model of education it was because it was the best way to educate 40+ students in one class by a person the who could be nearly same age as some of the students.

Today, those young people with all of those struggles are in our classrooms. Our modern classrooms have a very different dynamic than the “factory” age. We have more technology to learn along with the curriculum.  Unless you are currently a practicing teacher, I don’t think you can truly appreciate the demands.

Reformist want teachers to ‘modernize’ without making concessions that will create optimal class composition and learning conditions to ensure that a simple conversation goes uninterrupted.

To effectively execute project based learning, I should have a 10 minute conversation with a student to see how they are doing with their project. In a perfect class, with nothing but JUST 10 minute conversations, I could see 6 students a day. That is 1 UNINTERRUPTED conversation per student per week in a daily semester class!!!!  If you do just project based learning, how many projects do you do in a year? How much class wide assessment can you do?  How do you ensure that classes are not enabling detachment?

 

PBL 10 minute conversations 2013

 

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