Four Questions About Project Based Learning!
One of the most frequently asked questions by parents is: "How do you make sure my child is participating in every activity in the project? " This coincides with the most worrying problem for teachers who are new to the PBL Approach. Do we need to ensure that no child is left behind in every activity and avenue of exploring the project?
The answer is a big NO!.
First of all, please think carefully:
What is the purpose of the PBL Approach?
Why should every child be involved in every activity in the project exploration process?
Is there something missing if a child is not involved in every activity of the project?
What is the difference between ensuring that every child is involved in every activity of the program and whole group (teacher directed) instruction?
The following are our views and practical experience:
【进行PBL项目制的目的是什么？】PBL项目存在于人们的日常生活中，与人们生活的大小适宜息息相关。另外，这个旧概念之所以在近几年突然火爆起来，是因为越来越多的人开始关注孩子的内驱力和尊重孩子的兴趣。其目的是老师希望跳出传统的填鸭式教育，希望关注到学生的个性化发展，希望通过改变教学方式培养孩子学会观察、学会发现问题并用自己的想法及各式各样的方法解决问题。教师在项目过程中会提出建议并在必要的时候提供相关知识和技能的指导。(What is the purpose of the PBL?) PBL exists in people's daily life. The reason why this old concept has suddenly become popular in recent years is that more and more people are paying attention to children's internal drives as well as respecting children's interests. More teachers are hoping to jump out of the traditional way of cramming education and transitioning to a way of teaching that focuses on the individual development of students. By changing the teaching method children can learn to observe, learn to find problems, use their own ideas and various methods to solve problems. Teachers make suggestions during the project and provide guidance on relevant knowledge and skills when necessary.
【为什么每个孩子都要参与到项目探索过程中的每个活动呢？】这与成人接受传统教育及教授传统教育的思维相关。大家对于同时学同样的东西习以为常：同时教/学一样的知识和技能，才能确保孩子在同一时间内学到了一样的知识和技能。但大家想想，比如万圣节马上要到了，大多数幼儿园都会让幼儿做一些“经典的”万圣节手工，如：棉签贴骷髅头骷髅头手工一次就能确保孩子精细动作锻炼到了？就能确保孩子能够听指令按要求贴东西？就能确保孩子懂万圣节的意义了？就能确保孩子参与课堂了？更多时候，成人的固性思维还体现在：把一种知识和技能局限在有且仅有的一个活动中。忘记了日常生活中合适个样的事情都能起到相同的作用，孩子的发展进度也有所不同。比如：孩子在做房子的项目，这时候谈到让孩子设计自己的房子。这个活动更多的是“前书写”技能的体现，幼儿教育中“前书写”技能的培养体现在方方面面，不会因为孩子没参与一次房子项目的设计活动就和别的孩子差的十万八千里。为什么每个孩子都要设计自己的房子呢？有的孩子就是喜欢边搭建边设计、有的孩子就是喜欢和别人一起设计房子、有的孩子就是喜欢搭建完再画“设计图”的反向操作、有的孩子就是喜欢搭建完用拍照的形式体现出自己的设计、有的孩子就是不想要“设计”，因为他们还不理解什么是设计，设计对他们有什么意义、有的孩子当天或当周都不想设计，说不定哪一天他突然就想设计了呢……终归结底“设计”房子应该是孩子的想法而不是老师强加于孩子的，我们更多人是去看项目背后可以培训孩子的什么技能，而不是项目表层的活动。(Why should every child participate in every activity in the project exploration process?) This is related to the thinking of adults receiving traditional education and teaching in traditional education schools. Everyone is accustomed to learning the same things at the same time, ensuring that children learn the same knowledge and skills at the same time. But think about it. For example, Halloween is coming soon, and most kindergartens will let young children do some "classic" Halloween crafts, such as, 'cotton swab skulls' that all children do to ensure that children's fine motor training is achieved. Can you ensure that the child can follow the instructions and paste things as required? Can you make sure the child understands the meaning of Halloween? Can you make sure the child participates in the classroom? More often, the adult's fixed thinking is also reflected in confining a piece of knowledge and skill to one and only one activity. Forgetting that the right kinds of things in everyday life can all serve the same purpose, and that children develop differently. For example, the child is working on a house project, and at this time it is about letting the child design his/her own house. This activity is more about the embodiment of "pre-writing" skills, mark making. The cultivation of "pre-writing" skills in early childhood education can be developed in many ways. Children will not be worse than other children just because they have not participated in the house project design activity. Why should every child design their own house? Some children just like to design while building, some children like to design houses with others, and some children just like the reverse operation of drawing "design drawings" after building. Some children just like to show their designs in the form of taking pictures after building. Some children just don’t want to “design” because they still don’t understand what design is and what design means to them. In the end, "designing" a house should be the child's idea, not the teacher's imposition on the child.
【孩子没参与到项目的每个活动会缺失什么吗？】不会。孩子有不同的发展速度，各异的兴趣爱好以及不同的气质、倾向……项目探索注重的是过程，打个比方，孩子在探索露营希望搭建帐篷。难道没参与搭建帐篷的孩子意味着他这方面“失败”了？还是以为这孩子的动手能力不行？精细动作不行？不会解决问题？露营项目过程中绝对不会只有这么一次需要孩子动脑和动手解决问题的时候。在项目探索中，我们应该关注的是孩子在“过程中”探究的知识和技能，而不是孩子做的表面活动。项目探索过程中，老师必须保持一定的敏感度：知道孩子各方面的发展程度，需要给予他们怎样的支持。如：在持续了很长一段时间的项目，孩子从来都只贡献想法但从来不参加任何把他们想法付诸实践变成现实的活动时，教师了解到孩子的语言和高阶思维发展得不错了，需要更关注孩子的精细动作发展，需要有意识适当地邀请孩子将自己所说的事情动手实现…… (Is there anything missing if the child does not participate in every activity of the project?) Children have different development speeds, different interests, and different temperaments and tendencies. Project exploration in the early years focuses on the process. For example, children are exploring camping and want to set up tents. Does the child who didn't participate in tent-building mean he "failed" in the task? Or do you think the child's hands-on ability is not good? Fine/gross movements? There will never be only one time during the camping project when children need to use their brains and hands to solve problems. In project exploration, we should focus on the knowledge and skills that each child explores "in the process" rather than the surface activities that the child does. In the process of project exploration, teachers must maintain a certain degree of sensitivity: to know the development level of children in various aspects, and what kind of support that needs to be given. For example, in a project that has lasted for a long time, children have only contributed ideas but never participated in any activities that put their ideas into practice and turned them into reality. The teacher learned that the children's language and higher-order thinking are developing well but you need to pay more attention to your students fine motor development, and you need to consciously and appropriately invite children to implement what they say.
【确保了每个孩子都参与项目的每个活动后和大组活动有什么区别？】有的老师还是会把项目探索变成【教】孩子上探究课～介绍完今天这节探究课要孩子“探究”的一个内容后，让全班孩子一起去做同一个“探究”作品～2D的，3D的，老师预设好的。它就是上大课。又或者今天介绍了3个“探究内容”，让孩子去做，但每个孩子都必须今天就要做完这3个“探究”作品，即使不是今天那也会确保所有孩子都会做完这3个探究作品，上完大课后换成了小组形式完成了大课的内容。然后再一个一个让孩子拿着完成的作品拍照，其实孩子的作品都还全班人手一份，每份做的都差不多。请假的孩子回园，老师甚至还会一对一辅导孩子探索这3个项目内容，孩子根本就不知道发生什么事情，就坐在那儿乖乖地听老师说他要把这些内容给“全部吃完”。(What is the difference between ensuring that every child is involved in every activity of the program and a large group activity?) Some teachers still turn project exploration into (teaching) children in inquiry class. After introducing a concept children need to "explore" in inquiry class and then let all the children in the class do the same "exploration" work together ( 2D, 3D, pre-set by the teacher). It's a big class. Or maybe I introduced 3 "inquiries" today and let the children do it, but every child must finish these 3 "inquiries" today, even if it's not today, it will ensure that all children will do these 3 This is an inquiry work, and after the big class, it is replaced by a group form to complete the content of the big class. Then let the children take pictures of the completed works one by one. In fact, the children's works are all given to the whole class, and each copy is similar. The child who asked for leave will go back to the kindergarten, and the teacher will even guide the child one-on-one to explore the contents of these three items. The child has no idea what is going on, so he just sits there and listens obediently to the teacher saying that he wants to "eat all the contents".
PBL: It is not and does not require everyone to do every activity in the project at the same time or at different times, but everyone contributes to the project from different perspectives in the way they like and are good at, and finally complete the project together. The only activity that requires everyone to participate at the same time is the discussion (do you really let the children discuss?) to bring together children who are involved in different roles in the project to share their own experiences, discoveries, unknowns, and the next steps of the project. There are sparks in mutual communication, and it is also the children who are inviting each other.