Schools are overwhelmed with structures. Almost all of them are limiting. Don’t go off script. You have to implement this curriculum or policy. All students must… Bell schedule, hallway passes, class periods, subjects, graduation requirements, AYP, school improvement plans, …
Most schools have layer upon layer of structures related to classroom management, behavior, standards, curriculum, assessment, and more. Almost everything structurally about school is designed to control either teacher, student or both.
My friend Kiffany Lychock uses the term “visionary vagueness.” This is the idea that there needs to be space in institutions for great change to happen. Leadership at all levels needs to give people the freedom to experiment with ideas, new and old. So how to “structure” visionary vagueness?
PBL is one of the few structures that allows for creativity, teacher judgment, and freedom for both teacher and student. It respects teachers as professional designers of student centered learning and students as agents of their own learning. Some people think student centered learning is a “free for all” but that is not the case. At the other extreme some people may think that all structure is limiting. PBL destroys both of these misnomers. It provides structure and freedom at the same time.
PBL is a structure that gives freedom for people to be innovative and student centered. PBL lets people think structurally about innovation and changing schools.
If you are interested in learning more about the PBL process, please drop me a note on my contact page about my PBL workshops.