For this assignment, you need to assume the role of a classroom educator. This can be based on a class that you are currently teaching, one that you have previously taught, or one that you hope to teach in the future. Suppose you are participating in a department team meeting with the other teachers in your grade level discussing an upcoming unit.. One of the teachers indicates that she plans to distribute the same packets she used last year and schedule five days of independent seat work for her students to complete the packets by locating answers in the course textbook. This would be followed by a written exam covering the material in the packets.
You have been aware for some time that the students in this teacher’s class are frustrated, bored, and worst of all, not really learning anything important about the content as shown through the student data. This could be your opportunity to get her to try something new and more valuable to students. You explain to this teacher that you plan to implement a week-long problem-based learning experience for your students, involving group projects, computer time, and class presentations; you would like to share this plan with her and to partner together on the project.
In this assignment, you will apply principles of project and problem based learning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcGOe_JsXUY) to the design of a specific learning experience within a culturally relevant and collaborative learning experience that facilitates the 21st century skills of creativity and innovation. Review the Week Five Instructor Guidance for detailed assistance on preparing for and completing this assignment, including access to resources that will help you identify the characteristics of problem-based learning environments. Next, create your assignment to meet the content and written communication expectations below.
View the video, problem-based and project-based learning (PBL2) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Create a general plan that includes the following six components:
** Feel free to use this opportunity to design/revise a plan that you will be teaching in the future.**
If you are enrolled in the MAED Program, it is imperative that you keep copies of all assignments completed in this course. You will return to them for the portfolio that you will create in your final MAED course. This portfolio is a culminating project that will demonstrate that you have met program outcomes.
Review this week’s Instructor Guidance for additional information about completing this assignment. Contact your instructor for clarifications about this or any assessment in the course before the due date using the “Ask Your Instructor” forum. Then, also using the Grading Rubric as a guide for your performance on this assignment, construct your assignment to meet each of the content and written communication expectations.
Review your assignment with the Grading Rubric to be sure you have achieved the distinguished levels of performance for each criterion and submit the assignment for evaluation no later than Day 7.
Instructor Guidance Week 5
Looking back at the first couple weeks of class, you were presented with some common attributes and concepts within varied definitions of culture. This week, you are asked to analyze both the macrocultural as well as microcultural factors that likely influenced the decisions made in the development and implementation of the school or program. You may need to review the concepts of macro and microculture in the material presented on within Chapter 1.3 of the Wardle (2013) text.
The types of decisions teachers and/or program developers make in order to successfully plan schools or programs might include (but are not limited to) the following:
You may be surprised at how easy it is to imagine the cultural influences (both macrocultural and microcultural) that affect these types of decisions.
Review the video Interview with David Perkins (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. He says many things about the decisions teacher and policy-makers make regarding education, and one of the shocking conclusions he draws is that “…90% of what we teach is a waste of time.” Dr. Perkins raises a very valid point about the lack of discussion in the field of education about WHAT is important to be learned. Standards-driven curricula and state /national accountability measures seem to focus on ensuring that teachers can effectively teach so that their students successfully learn specified outcomes. But such efforts tend to emphasize HOW teachers can ensure the learning of specific outcomes without addressing more obvious questions related to what students are actually expected to learn, and whether or not such outcomes are even worth trying to learn well. This is a very important distinction, and it speaks to the most important decision educators make on a daily basis: “What is important for my students to learn?”
Up to this point in the course, you have been encouraged to consider how culturally relevant pedagogy and strategies for encouraging creativity support the learning of 21st century skills. When you examine the 21st century skills framework (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., you will notice that content-related outcomes do form the core of the skills model. But content specific outcomes represent only part of the picture. The importance of the 21st century skills framework is its emphasis on skills that are used by people in the real world to be more successful in their lives. These skills include creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). One of the underlying, hidden goals in this course is that you will choose to facilitate these skills in your classes, regardless of the grade level or subject area…and you will choose to ensure that all your students have equitable opportunities to learn them through culturally relevant experiences.
Project- and Problem-Based Learning
The final pieces of the puzzle in this course involve learning more about tools that can help you develop creative, culturally relevant instruction. These tools include the methods of project-based and problem-based learning (PB2L), as well as the tools of technology.
The week begins with a discussion about cultural characteristics that influence the decision-making of professional educators. These characteristics are considered at both the macrocultural level (i.e. U.S. culture) and the microcultural (i.e. local community) levels. Such analyses help to identify decisions teachers make in light of their personal perspectives. Based on these insights, you will reevaluate the case of poor instruction criticized by student Jeff Bliss. You have an opportunity to suggest strategies that would create a classroom that emphasizes cultural relevancy and creativity. And finally, you will examine how PB2L environments naturally support the learning of creative and innovation skills within culturally relevant frameworks. This is coupled with the role technology plays in defining and supporting PB2L contexts, resulting in more relevant, engaging and creative instruction. These skills will be directly applied next week as you develop your final project.
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