I thought Shelley Wright’s article on project based learning was really interesting and inspiring. I think it is a really neat idea to take a concept, like the holocaust, and have the students create their own museum. This was a big risk she took, one that I know would have made me nervous to take but I think that it is good she took the risk. I also think it is good for teachers to take risks in the classroom sometimes. I feel that a lot of times teachers get into a routine and stick to that routine and sometimes forget that they should switch things up sometimes. I think the idea of project based learning is neat because in Wright’s room she left the idea up to the students. The students created the design for this classroom as well as determined what information would be in it. I feel like the layout was not the important thing here though, it was what information was out into the museum.
I can also imagine how difficult it must have been for Wright to switch from a more teacher directed class to a student run class. I know as someone who likes to have things very well planned and spelled out that this could be a difficult thing to do, relinquishing control. I think this was done perfectly though. Wright was able to motivate her students and to get them excited about the project. By not giving specific instruction on what the museum had to look like and exactly what had to be in it, Wright was able to excite her students and play into the different ways students learn. Students had choices in how they could make the museum look.
At one point Wright says “Instead, by grade 10, my students have learned that if they wait long enough, they will be rescued. Not anymore.” I thought this was really inspiring because she is right! A lot of times when students think they get “stuck” they just turn to the teacher to get them through but they don’t really think about their problem first. As teachers I think a lot of times we are tempted to just give them the answers when this arises instead of giving them a little prod like Wright did.
This is a idea that I think would be really fun to use in the classroom and not just for a upper grade level like high school, but I think this could be used on a slightly smaller scale in an elementary school classroom as well. I think this really makes the ideas mean more to the students and stick with them more when they are in charge of their own learning.