Monday, February 15, 2010

Class Meeting 7: Mon Feb 15, 2010

Today’s class started with a student survey covering how students feel about PBI within the context of their other UTeach coursework, their feelings about the workload of PBI course, and how they plan on situating their own understanding of a Project-Based Learning framework within their own teaching practice. The survey can be found here:

Then, Professor Petrosino selected discussion leaders, and had 3 to 4 students group around each leader to discuss the Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark’s Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching (2006). Each group delved deeply into the article talking about the views they posted on the Discussion Board. The prompt from the Discussion Board was:

“On one side of this argument are those advocating the hypothesis that people learn best in an unguided or minimally guided environment, generally defined as one in which learners, rather than being presented with essential information, must discover or construct essential information for themselves (e.g., Bruner, 1961; Papert, 1980; Steffe & Gale, 1995). On the other side are those suggesting that novice learners should be provided with direct instructional guidance on the concepts and procedures required by a particular discipline and should not be left to discover those procedures by themselves.

1) From the coursework you have taken so far in UTeach, please explain which side of this debate do you feel UTeach stands on? Please give specific justifications and reference class readings, activities, discussions to justify your answer.

2) Where do you fall on in this debate? Again, please provide some detailed articulation. How long would I like this to be? Spend 45 minutes on each question. That should suffice.”

After this group discussion, Professor Petrosino gave a mini-lecture about the tensions between inquiry and direct-within that teachers might find themselves within as they enter the classroom. Then, Professor Petrosino ended the class by having each discussion group share out about what they discussed. Each group added to a whole group discussion about their opinions and experiences with the nature of minimal guidance and the nature of inquiry with secondary education.

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