Assignment 19: Project-based Learning

It was interesting to read this article and then see how it is linked to the operations of our class projects. Something that stood out was the generative questions. At the beginning of our projects, the generative questions were discussed in great depth. In doing so, space was opened up for ideas to be thrown around, and it really got people thinking. Since the generative questions are open-ended and not easily solved, it creates a scenario where so many routes can be explored. With the ASU community project we’re currently wrapping up, it’s extremely interesting how three very different projects emerged in our classroom given the same criteria. That’s a testament to questions’ abilities to help guide and scaffold student learning. Often times, throughout the project, the generative questions were referred back to; directly when asked by the teacher, and indirectly when peers went around to different groups asking guiding questions that often related back to the generative questions.

Varying types of assessment is a topic I haven’t discussed in a while, and brought me back to my Intro to Music Education days. The article discusses how formative assessment is an effective method of supporting learning. Within the context of our class project, we were asked to keep a project log. In addition, we were constantly being as by Dr. Tobias, Nathan, and our peers various questions that can be seen as formative assessment. These are all effective methods that help demonstrate our process, showcase our understanding of the content, and allow for our growth to be tracked over an extended period of time. Relating this to Mr. Maxwell’s class, he expects the students to keep up with journals. This year, for their major project, he wants each class period they’re given to work on the project, a short video clip that showcases what they’re working on that day. His goal in doing this is not only just formative assessment, but for students to be able to reflect back upon their process upon completion of the project. I believe doing that is a fun way for students to engage in thinking about their process. Although my concern is he isn’t strict with reminding kids to do that, and some kids might not see the point in doing it, blow it off, or be too shy/awkward to make the clip worthwhile.

I really enjoy talking about curriculum, and am finding this class extremely valuable. In our degree program, I don’t think we talk about curriculum enough, and I believe this class provides an effective space for such discussion to be held. This class gets my brain moving in allowing me to think of ways I can apply these amazing, innovative project-based ideas into a traditional music setting, as well as potential for other types of music classes I could potentially construct and offer as a future teacher. I believe we aren’t given enough space for such innovation to occur in most of our classes, and I’m enjoying having an outlet for such creativity, innovation, and discussion.

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