I am a big proponent of project-based learning, but one question that comes up often is, “Is project based learning for every student?”
This is a question that deserves some consideration because the answer is there are some students that will struggle with PBL.
However, there are things we as educators can do to support those students!
So, lets dive a little more deeply into this question.
Students Who May Struggle With Project Based Learning
Much of the educational research available supports project based learning, inquiry based learning, and cross curricular learning as these concepts aim to place our students in the driver seat of their learning within the context of real-world problems.
However, there is a population of students that we also need to remember. There are some students who do not thrive with little constraints and endless choices.
Like some of my students this year I am finding….
While doing my research, I read this quote and it has really stuck with me because this is my kid.
“Many students initially struggle with the responsibility for making choices about their learning because they have so few opportunities to do so during the school day and do not have a fully developed skill set to direct their own learning.”DeMink-Carthew and Netcoh (2019)
My 8-year-old has learning challenges, high anxiety, and mild OCD. I can’t tell you how many times I have seem her spiral out and have a complete emotional breakdown when deciding what socks to wear to school.
Because “what if she made the wrong choice”.
So some kids (especially if they’ve never encountered PBL before) can actually suffer from the paradox of choice.
Ways Educators Can Support Students That Struggle With PBL
One way to support these students is to give them the choices. With the power of 3.
For these students, I like to give 3 choices. Enough for their preference but also not so many that it’s overwhelming.
❤️ here are 3 skills you have still not mastered. Pick ONE that you want to focus on and master in this unit.
❤️ here are the top 3 articles I would suggest to start your research
❤️ here are 3 different formative assessments I can use on this skill, tell me which one you would like for me to use this week
I hope this helps you in some way this year as much as it has helped me!
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