Originally posted on 6/24/2015
Teaching a Problem Based Learning curriculum is hard for multiple reasons. I’ll write a blog post in the future about why I choose to do it despite the difficulties but for now I want to focus on some of the ways that it’s hard and how to make it easier.
First off, I use the Deerfield Academy Geometry 202 book for my geometry course. http://www.carmelschettino.com/wp/in-the-classroom/teaching/
I find one of the hardest parts of teaching a problem based curriculum is that the lack of finite structure (no chapters/units) makes it difficult for students to get comfortable. This discomfort is productive in the long run because a lot our lives and math lack this finite structure. My first goal of the summer is to make a solution manual for the Deerfield problem book with the intent of rewriting/writing problems and creating my school’s own PBL book. My second goal is to find good stopping points within the book that make me think “A test would make sense after page 6.” or “At this point a journal entry could be written about _____.” When I make the problem calendar to share with the students I can show them when tests and journals occur based on page numbers. This can provide some of the structure they need. It’s faux chapters.