Someone Please Get Me Back On Track
Posted June 4, 2009on:
Amendments have to be made for the sake of excelling. Project Based Learning has changed my life, my vision, and my thinking towards education, many students and teachers still argue whether this has been a good step in order to attain success. From my observation there are powerful arguments from both sides of the table, my personal believe is that no system is bad, it depends upon which better suits the student, each individual has different capabilities, different strengths/ weakness, different mindsets, and a different thought process. However the aspect that differentiates between an outstanding student and a good student is ability to cope and adapt to different scenarios, they may also include different methods of teaching. I have now experienced one and half years of PBL, it has become a part of my life, I have witnessed education revolutionize, yet there are many aspects that need to be improved. Many people that I have encountered say there isn’t such a word as ‘perfect’, I say the opposite, things could be perfected only if the correct practise has been put into place.
From a student’s viewpoint, many changes have to be made to the PBL system at my school in order to grasp the title of ‘perfection’. First thing on my hit list is that aspect of equity across the grade, this leads onto marks /ranking (teacher play an important role in this), expectations and content learning.
Marks, Ranking and Expectation
This is one topic that I reckon I have been harshly done by, not saying that I deserve more marks or a higher ranking, it’s just that others deserved less. Marks are something that tend to set a standard not only in class but grades. At the end of each exam or presentation students often wait eagerly to receive their marks, to see whether they have done themselves proud. Excelling ones own expectation tends to bring along a smile that lasts forever, similarly on the other hand by failing students are liable to be clocked by sheer embarrassment.
Different teachers have different mindsets, for example if the rubric states,” effectively analyse”, these two words might mean something totally different to you, as what it means to me. As a result one teacher might think the student has answered a question reasonably well and give him/her 100%, whilst the other teacher may think that the same student hasn’t answered the question well, and much rather issue him/her with only 60%. This inequality causes a lot of variation, slowly this builds up frustration within a student, until all the patience is lost.
This may also result in a greater scattering of student’s ranking across the subject. Let me take myself as an example, I’ am currently ranked 1st in my class for social studies, however I’am ranked 8th across the grade. I have seen the final end product that was produced by those students that are beating me in terms of ranking, not being biased my work was far more advanced , its much more sophisticated and more complex, yet I sit on 8th position. WHY?… I’ am just one of the students, I feel sorry for all the other students who suffer from this sort of frustration, no matter how high I tend to jump, I’am still not able to reach the goal.
Whole purpose of school is to gain knowledge, information, and experience. Each and every teacher has a different method of teaching, some are more effective than others, the tools and resources hold a great meaning to this aspect. At times I seem to fall in the trap of insecurity about the content being passed onto me, it makes me wonder, am I learning the exact same thing in the same manner as other students in my grade are? Are all the students being provided the equal platform no matter which teacher they have? Have I been given as good understanding of a topic as other students from different classes?
How to get a student back on track?
Currently I have been lacking motivation and enthusiasm in my PBL classes (excluding CST/IST). Lately I have doing work from out of fear, not enjoyment. For many weeks now I have tried to figure out where might that spark come from, a spark that will ignite my engine, so I have found these solutions…
- Set bench mark/goal/expectation
- Create a feel of competition within classes
- Provide with better guidelines/pathway
- Build a healthy relationship between teacher and student
- Provide with more feedback
- Collaborate as a grade
- Try something new (computer software/ Internet websites)
I haven’t been enjoying my projects as such, they do not attract me, not even one bit. To be honest I don’t how or what will motivate me, I just have my finger crossed and search for answers, answer that will get me back on track. Who knows what might happen tomorrow, will I get motivated? Stay tuned for the answer…