Consider projects as a hidden treasure. That x which marks the spot where all the efforts meet or where they might begin. Some are small, just simple tasks we go through to add some of ourselves to whatever it is we’re learning; others are immense, they are born to us, they develop through us, they shape and take our learning forward.
Whether you’ll go for TBL (task-based learning) or PBL (project-based learning), you’ll discover that placing yourself as a teacher in the background, you give learners the opportunity to see things for themselves; to experience what it’s like to have questions and pursue the answers to them. It is all about the skills, yes; the skills we should all try and develop, the skills that can bring meaning to our future and their future.
Please keep in mind that ‘background’ doesn’t mean ‘absence’. We’re there too, just not at the front. We still guide, monitor and assess, only we’re much more quiet than we used to (or instructed to be).
I’ve always taken things one at a time. You can’t rush into everything, can you? I started adding simple activities for students to do as extension to our course and slowly moved up to almost open-ended courses, with students at the centre and everything evolving from their own will and persistence.
From simple to spectacular, they’re all here.
What is it about computer games that we find so endearing and powerful at the same time?
Here are two posts on what could be achieved through games and their mechanics:
What does dancing have to do with learning English? Same as what movement has to do with learning in general. In this case, it’s more the reflection that works; not everything is about test preparation, right?
Mike’s 14 and a bookworm just like me. While we were discussing our common interest, the idea for our project began taking shape. Books were always his first option for anything. Any book. We spent an hour almost, talking and browsing through titles online. We met at a central bookstore and spent one more hour there, because he wanted to ”feel the books as well”.
The most important thing while doing this project, or any project, is trust. Mike has been my student since he was 9. We’ve done so much together all these years and I’m truly proud of him, not only for his excellence in his studies, but for becoming the great young man he is. And I totally trust him, as he trusts me. He’s independent and knows what to do. He’ll always ask questions and always answer to mine. Our lessons are really an ongoing discussion, an exploration.
Here’s the overview of our ‘Book and Beyond’ project:
And here is some of Mike’s work so far: