Posted in Secondary School on May 13, 2019
Big problems tackled by Year 8
Mrs Ponsen and Mr East have begun the year with the challenge of teaching a course with no set content! They have been meeting together to dream up unique and complex problems for their students to grapple with and learn from. So far, their Year 8 students have been asked to assess the financial viability of pet cloning, develop strategies to build consensus over the celebration of Australia Day, create practical ways to build kindness in the community and more recently, they have proposed future transport solutions for an NRMA competition. As teachers, Mrs Ponsen and Mr East spend most of their time coaching teams of students on what makes good teamwork; how to plan strategically, research, pitch ideas to audiences and troubleshoot difficulties.
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is the approach underpinning this Year 8 class. Rather than teaching subject-specific skills or content, PBL develops collaboration, resilience, creativity and problem-solving abilities useful to unique problems. These are the skills students will need in the workplace of the future.
“PBL has been a bit confusing, in what we are meant to do for projects. Since we don't have as many guidelines, and more freedom (in being creative) in what we do to complete the work, it was a little harder. It was also challenging to communicate and to collaborate with our groups, but I think PBL has helped me with that”
It is an approach in alignment with our vision to excel in raising generations that innovate to build a better world as the hands of Christ and to live out the school values to learn without limits, live courageously and unite in community.
If you have an interest in this approach, want to coach students, contribute resources or just be an audience for a student presentation, why not contact our PBL teachers via the School Office?