But rather than just sending a link to an article and hoping for the best, leaders can create engaging learning opportunities for their employees. Divide the staff into small groups and assign each group with a video or article to explore, reflect upon, and discuss. Task each team with creating an activity or presentation that they can share with the rest of the staff at the next staff meeting. Information can also be shared in a newsletter format or a poster that can be posted in a common area for all staff members to view and reflect upon.
This practice, in many ways, uses the core elements of PBL. Draw parallels between this activity that your employees complete and what you hope they implement in their classrooms.
Other ways to support your employees:
- Materials: This could include anything from enhancing the technology in the classroom to opening up the internet (with child safeguards in place) on classroom computers. Subscriptions to kid-friendly publications here can also support PBL (The Week Junior Magazine, National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, etc). There may be additional items that are required to complete projects, such as ingredients for a recipe. Work with staff to determine how to work with the materials on hand, while providing a manageable budget for project materials.
- Finding community connections: When you review PBL plans with teachers, work with them to identify appropriate community connections (people) or locations for field trips. Engage families, too, by asking for input or volunteers to visit the classroom to share knowledge.
- Training: Help teachers identify professional development opportunities in the community. If you are ready to make the program-wide shift to PBL, consider planning an entire professional development day focused on learning about and planning for PBL.
- Mentoring and Coaching: Support the implementation of PBL by pairing teachers in mentoring or coaching partnerships. Encourage teachers to collaborate on challenges and seek ideas from their colleagues.
Celebrate efforts: Be sure to make time for teachers to share their success stories with the team. At the same time, not every project lands exactly where expected. Remind teachers that even though a project didn’t follow the intended plan (which should be flexible), valuable learning experiences were had by all!
For the main article Project-Based Learning, CLICK HERE
For the article Elements of Project-Based Learning, CLICK HERE
For the article Benefits of Project-Based Learning, CLICK HERE
For the article Getting Started and Project Ideas, CLICK HERE