Project-Based Learning

"The role of the teacher is to create conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge." ~Seymour Papert

Project-Based Learning (PBL), which typically is team-based, requires students to take on real problems, using the tools and techniques that they would use to problem-solve in the real world.  It also gives students more control over their learning, putting instructors in the position of facilitators rather than (only) as deliverers of information.  PBL also accommodates different learning styles within the classroom and within student groups as students learn to use a variety of learning modalities to problem-solve and communicate their ideas.  Finally, it can increase student achievement by drawing students into the learning process in a way that allows them to feel ownership over their work and to play to their strengths.  I have piloted two university-wide teaching initiatives at UMD, Global Classroom and Fearless Ideas, and have used my PBL course model for both of these.  My Capstone in International Development is also client-driven, which means that student groups are paired with--and accountable to--a client in the practice community.

I have given numerous talks on my approach both at home and abroad and am available for workshop or course trouble-shooting.