Professional Development and Project Based Learning
Project based learning (PBL) and professional development (PD) require some effort to complete. I'm realizing that implementing successful PD is very much like facilitating PBL.
|Background courtesy of DragonArtz Designs, gears created on Clker, text created in Pages|
When the gears get jammed
Sometimes gears jam up, but don't throw it away or dismiss it when that happens. Assess the situation, collaborate with and consult others, then apply a plan to get the gears working again.
Isn't that what it's like in the classroom during PBL, or with staff development? Sometimes things don't turn out the way we want them to, but we persevere. We push forward by reflecting, assessing the situation, setting goals, creating a plan, then implementing it. This gets the gears moving again, and if it doesn't, try again.
Keeping the gears moving
Once the gears have started, they need to be monitored. Sometimes more energy is required. Once the momentum gets going, it takes less energy to keep it going. However, totally withdrawing and walking away expecting it to run itself is also not going to work, at least not for long.
With PBL, once the project is launched, it also needs to be monitored. This is when the magic occurs, because the teacher facilitates by coaching and providing feedback.
I've learned that PD is the same. The training is just the start, the follow through is beyond implementing it in the classroom, it's when transformation in student learning occurs. It takes nurturing, refining, and stretching it towards excellence. That's when you are steps closer to finishing.
I like what John Maxwell says about finishing:
Leaders see through what they've started. If the gears are moving, it will continue to move as long as it is nurtured and refined. Over time, it will transform and evolve.
- How do you keep the gears moving?
- How do you persevere to finish what you've started?
- Have you ever considered the similarities between PBL and PD?
- What else did this post get you thinking about?