Ok, here is the thing. Sometimes school can be really boring. I think I have pointed out a few ways on this blog about how to change that. The Project Learning Cycle is one of my favorites of all. Here is is:
In this learning cycle, Students first become aware of an issue, and conduct research to inform themselves of all its intricacies. This is where most classrooms stop. Do some research and then write about it. The project learning cycle keeps going. Students start brainstorming solutions, actual solutions that can work in the real world. They keep going, actually building a product and testing out; a blog, a movie, an actual device. Following testing, they make changes, and finally release their product to the world. This product launch can be done in class, but I like the idea of involving more than just classmates; I would invite parents, other teachers, and members of the greater community to take part as well.
What I like most about this is that students are finding information for themselves. The assignment becomes a chase, where students are hunters, and the goal is the prey. It taps into the primal force that is discovery, and for that, I will always love the project learning cycle.
The other thing I like about this is that students leave with a tangible product, something they made. This kind of application is so often missing in education today, where we focus on tests and standards.
Do I think I will be using the project learning cycle in the future? Absolutely. Will I use it exclusively? It is hard to tell. I am still pretty new to this teaching thing.
What do you think about the project learning cycle? Let me know in the comments below.