Productive, becoming, learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) is what education is all about. I say “education” in its most literal sense.

I looked up the word online and found the derivation of the word comes from Latin:

“educare” which means “to bring up”, from e– “out” and ducere “to lead; to bring forward“.

This reminded me of a former headteacher of a school I taught at.She always discussed the Latin origin of the word and said that our business as educators was to “bring out” not to “put in”. She was less fussed about content and more concerned with us allowing our charges to develop their inner person… to “become”.

In the video above, by the wonderful Edutopia organisation, we can see how learning mathematics can be made productive. There is a point to the calculations and there is a need to use the geometry. The students are designing a school and are competing with each other to get the best design possible. They need to collaborate, to research, to apply skills of writing, talking, using the internet, drawing, presenting and influencing others.

Compare this version of “education” with the more commonly seen one where the students are sat in rows, taking notes to cram for tests that mean nothing and that they will forget almost as fast as they learnt it.

This is real education in its purest (and original) sense.The students are learning productive things and in the process are “becoming” the person that they have the potential to be. As a by-product of all of this they are also enjoying themselves…. how often can that be said to be the case in the conventional test-driven classroom?




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