Teacher as Facilitator

Project based learning is not something I have yet tried in my classroom.  As a teacher of Humanities, I struggled with understanding where I could implement PBL and make it meaningful.  This course has shown me how I can do just that.

While attempting to integrate a PBL experience in my classroom, my role will change.  While I do not subscribe to the “sage on the stage” philosophy, I do feel that I can share a lot of knowledge with my students.  My role will have to transition to that of facilitator during a PBL experience.

An effective facilitator must possess many skills.  First, the facilitator must value the team members and their ideas.  It is important to listen to all ideas.  While there may be some ideas that lack strength, those ideas may spur stronger ideas from other team members.  Also, the facilitator must be a great communicator.  It is important to clearly explain ideas.  The facilitator may also be a mediator at times.  Clearly communicating ideas is an important skill for any facilitator.

The students, through participating in a PBL experience, will develop the 21st century skills necessary to be successful in the future.  The job market is changing.  Many have said that educators are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.  Incorporating PBL in the classroom will allow students to learn and master skills that they will require later in life.

With respect to being a facilitator, I feel that I already run the classroom that way.  The hard part for me is going to be sacrificing content to allow time for a PBL experience.  In Humanities class, we teach reading, writing, grammar, etc.  I will have to analyze the content I teach in order to create enough time for a meaningful PBL.

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