I very much enjoy the process of putting together Project Based Learning, (PBL), projects, I find it particularly rewarding when this is done as a ‘group’ activity. In Stage 2, we are a small group – just Todd and myself. Small but very active. Putting together a project with Todd means that we each come up with ideas and then bounce them off one another. Discussions are usually fast and furious; it is amazing just how quickly we can take an initial idea and tease it into form.
Earlier in the year, Todd and I put together a project which right now is in its end phase. ‘Risky Business’, which is essentially a Personal Development Health and Physical Education, (PDHPE), unit that deals with a number of sensitive and challenging subjects that are in the national curriculum to be taught in Stage 2. They include: Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs, Domestic Violence, Children’s Rights and Child Abduction. As young athletes, we believed that this was a great opportunity for our students, even at such a young age, to begin to think consciously about their health and safe practices.
I believe that as adults, most of our experiences are processed in our heads; a cognitive approach, however with children their experiences tend to be more emotional, experienced through their world of feeling. When we introduced these potentially confronting subjects to our children, we found that the content was met with a ‘matter-of-fact’ attitude. I love the way children roll with life, they are so open and flexible. Unfortunately with age we tend to harden up and become less so.
We put our students into ten groups of six, each group was given a subject and their tasks included: researching the subject, creating a poster and finally making a thirty second advertisement that they would perform to an audience. As we’ve been accustomed, our students responded positively to the challenges presented to them. See below several of the groups together with their posters. The presentations are due to take place this week.