Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 24

Problem-based learning and teaching When we begin with student interest and tackle learning opportunities from that place, a continuum begins to emerge regarding how much of the learning we hand over to the students. With a problem-based technique to teaching and learning, on one end of the spectrum you have the traditional set-up where the teacher identifies the learning objective, the process by which the objective will be explored and the prescribed outcome. On the far end of that continuum is where students are presented with a problem and define the learning objective (problem to be answered), process and outcome. It is on this end of the continuum that teaching and learning look dramatically different. For the Poly Motocross Project, we chose the student-driven approach through a problem-based learning construct to assess how students and teachers responded to this radical shift in instructional delivery and learning design. A unique balance occurred with the project both from a teacher and learner perspective. Student inquiry: Eight essential tasks Students were challenged with eight essential tasks to develop the guiding questions, process identification and outcome attainment. Newman (2005) quantifies these tasks accordingly: 1. Explore the problem: clarify terms and concepts that are not understandable, create hypotheses and identify issues. 2. Identi