Project Based Learning at Lamoille
The question I am faced with the most is “why”. Why should schools change? To answer that question, I am faced with countless dead ends, an example being the people who asked why are often the people who believe schools should not change. I have come to the conclusion that our society is frightened of change. We live in a time where we look at people’s degrees, rather than how well and capable they are of learning. We live in a world where our SAT scores are more important to our lives than our willingness and interests in learning. We are so obsessed with what will place us higher in the society, we overlook what will be best for us, what will be the best for ourselves as an individual. Education is not something everyone has the capability to do the same way so why should it be taught the same. The freedom to learn in a way that best suits you is sorely lacking in this day and age.
Project Based Learning
My plan to change education is to implement a program that is completely project based. Project Based Learning is a format of learning that puts the students in the driver’s seat and allows them the freedom to learn anything they so choose. The way we get students in charge of their learning is molding the criteria we want them to learn into something interesting to them. Therefore the project would be on something they like doing. The students would achieve their proficiencies through a series of projects over the course of a year. The students create their own timeline, they have specific dates on where they would like to be with their project. The students meet with their teachers frequently for guidance and so the teachers can make sure the student is staying focused. The student typically does 2-3 projects a year, the finished product is a physical representation about how the project has affected them and what they learned. They also present their project to a whole bunch of people almost like a science fair.
How & Why
If I am being completely honest, This is the future of learning I truly believe this will be where every school is going to end up in the near future . The smart thing to do would be to implement a pilot program now to work out the kinks, rather than to implement it all at once. If we implement a program now then we can “simply” enlarge it to a whole school thing. The important thing is to keep the student to teacher ratio as small as possible. The smaller the ratio the more the teachers can weigh in on the students learning. This would be very beneficial to the students because the teacher would no longer be a powerful superior who tells you what to do, rather a guide who helps you through tough journey to a better education. This program allows students to be whatever they want to be. Most students come out of high school and even college not knowing what they wanted to do. With this program or something similar these students can experiment with things they are interested in doing over time and not deciding what they want to be all at once.