Presenter Information

Paula Quinn

Presentation Type

Plenary

Start Date

9-30-2020 2:00 PM

End Date

9-29-2020 3:00 PM

Abstract

To work in meaningful and useful ways, our students need to think critically and creatively. Without thinking critically,our students risk operating without integrity and without validity. Without thinking creatively, our students risk losing opportunities for emergence, innovation, and delight. If we do not teach our students how to think critically and creatively, we failthem as individual learners, and we risk weakening society in significant ways. Using the pedagogy of project-based learning and a little effort, though, we can create experiences that challenge students to become better critical and creative thinkers. And they will learn in ways, too, that they will draw on long after they complete their projects. But project-based learning sometimes is seen as a risky undertaking: Instructor and student roles are far different from those in traditional courses; institutional structures might not be set up to provide the strongest support; teamwork is necessary, and with it comes the likelihood of disagreement and conflict; the process of working matters at least as much (if not more) than the products produced through thework; typical modes of assessment need to be abandoned and new ones need to be adopted; and there is ambiguity. In project-based learning, no one knows everything, and everyone feels vulnerable. In this plenary, we will review research on the impact of project-based learning on students, consider a framework for the practice of project-based learning, and discuss resources and tools that are available to support our practice. This exploration will help us envision how we can use project-based learning to help our students become better at thinking critically and creatively and how we can use it to help us become better educators and lifelong learners. And it even might help us see why embracing project-based learning actually may not be quite so risky.

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Sep 30th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:00 PM

Plenary: Developing Critical & Creative Thinking with Project-Based Learning: A High-Risk Endeavor?

To work in meaningful and useful ways, our students need to think critically and creatively. Without thinking critically,our students risk operating without integrity and without validity. Without thinking creatively, our students risk losing opportunities for emergence, innovation, and delight. If we do not teach our students how to think critically and creatively, we failthem as individual learners, and we risk weakening society in significant ways. Using the pedagogy of project-based learning and a little effort, though, we can create experiences that challenge students to become better critical and creative thinkers. And they will learn in ways, too, that they will draw on long after they complete their projects. But project-based learning sometimes is seen as a risky undertaking: Instructor and student roles are far different from those in traditional courses; institutional structures might not be set up to provide the strongest support; teamwork is necessary, and with it comes the likelihood of disagreement and conflict; the process of working matters at least as much (if not more) than the products produced through thework; typical modes of assessment need to be abandoned and new ones need to be adopted; and there is ambiguity. In project-based learning, no one knows everything, and everyone feels vulnerable. In this plenary, we will review research on the impact of project-based learning on students, consider a framework for the practice of project-based learning, and discuss resources and tools that are available to support our practice. This exploration will help us envision how we can use project-based learning to help our students become better at thinking critically and creatively and how we can use it to help us become better educators and lifelong learners. And it even might help us see why embracing project-based learning actually may not be quite so risky.