The chart below is from a post by Peter Skillen, about Project Based Learning (PBL), on the Powerful Learning Practice blog. The piece makes some very good points about the value of PBL. It does, however, present teaching and learning as things done in a rather limiting dualistic teacher/student context.
For those of us engaged in the work of community-centered teaching and learning, there is another piece to this equation, one that provides context, deeper meaning and relevance. In service-learning projects, whether they are
direct service, community-based research, or anything in-between, community partners are co-educators.
In community-centered PBL, the questions are not fictional case studies. They go right to the student’s values; often into their own back yards. The collaboration is richer because students don’t simply work with their friends. They are thrust into the reality of locking arms across generations or cultures in order to improve local quality of life. Content, knowledge and purpose manifest themselves in the lives of people they see in everyday contexts. Teachers and students are not simply two opposite ends of a school continuum; They are also both community members. Learning doesn’t get any more “real world.”
Is there anyone out there willing to take a crack at creating a slightly different version of this chart; one that includes the depth and balance that the community brings to the PBL table?
– John Hamerlinck
Chart: Effective PBL Continua by Peter Skillen & Brenda Sherry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.