Today Prudie Cain, our UTeach master teacher, started off class by reminding students about a field opportunity this weekend. Students have the option of attending a field trip to McKinney Falls to talk about how lessons can be planned around this site that meet state standards in a number of subjects and integrate technology tools available to them from UTeach.
Students were also reminded that they should be beginning observations out at Manor New Tech High School. They must complete one observation with an associated observation reflection, but they are encouraged to make multiple trips out to the school to see different classes on different days.
The majority of the class time today was used to discuss the Krajcik and Blumenfeld reading. Students compared and contrasted the essential elements of PBI as presented in Barron et al (1998) and Krajcik and Blumenfeld (2004). One of the elements students felt was missing from Krajcik’s paper was that of frequent assessment and feedback with opportunities for revision that Barron stresses. Students also had a thoughtful discussion of whether the process of creating an artifact truly requires students to “reconstruct” their understanding or simply requires them to externalize their knowledge. Another topic that generated lengthy discussion was that of so-called “cookbook labs” and whether they have utility in a science classroom.