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Time to Implement
Katherine says: finding enough time to implement
I am assuming Katherine that you have a concern around how to get this implemented. It does seem like it would take a lot of time and that is why I always encourage leaders who are new to this strategy to approach without the pressure of feeling like it has to be perfect. The steps we talked about today, with the exception of capturing student voice, writing descriptions and scheduling (which should happen prior to any semester beginning), the introduction and mapping parts could be done in one day. Phase I is the most important phase for the instructor. It is in this Phase that you ensure that the plan allows for the reasonable inclusion of standards and the practicing of skills. Once you are off and running, you job will be to facilitate and ensure students stay on track.
Take a look at BIE and Edutopia in our Learn More Library; External Resources.
In the meantime, here is the link to a blog on Edutopia which you might find encouraging. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/fitting-in-pbl-beth-holland
Robin asks: How can I fit project-based learning into an already busy schedule?
You can approach it different ways: 1) Plan to introduce PBL next semester or next time you change activities. If you are not ready to commit to doing PBL with you entire program, do it with just of few activities. Choose your best and most enthusiastic teachers and train them. You can use this time to learn what works and doesn’t work and tweak things in the next go-around 2) You can pilot the strategy during a time such as summer programming to give time for training and developing (getting everyone on board and knowledgeable about the techniques); 3) You can decide to go all-in (whenever you are ready—-this is what I did) and get your staff trained and jump in next semester or the next time you change activities.
Keep in mind, that implementing this strategy doesn’t just happen because you want it to. As a leader, you must be fully committed and share that commitment with your staff. It won’t go perfect the first time and maybe not the second, third or forth time, but if you persist and keep adjusting and training, it will eventually be a program making a life-long impact on students.