Solving real-life problems makes learning relevant, and helps prepare students for 21st century careers. Sounds good, but how does it really work? A recent article in The Daily Republic show how students in two Mitchell, SD elementary schools, Gertie Belle Rogers and L.B. Williams, are learning through identifying problems and creating solutions to resolve those problems. SDIL is proud to work with both schools, bringing transdisciplinary problem based learning (TPBL) to teachers through our professional development courses.
The article says in part:
“Being accustomed to traditional classroom settings, learning to let go and let students forge their own paths hasn’t always been easy for the Gertie Belle Rogers staff in their attempt getting the program off the ground.
“It’s a switch from what I went through as a student. You have to really trust your kids,” Meghan Moody (Gertie Belle Rogers first-grade teacher) said.
Moody has noticed through using problem-based learning, her students work at a higher level than other first-graders, because they are absorbing and retaining content. She said the relevance to the students is the key.
The enthusiasm is obvious amongst the kids who participate.
Second-grade student Kate Kampmann said the program is widely accepted by students at Gertie Belle because it is something bigger than themselves.
“My favorite part is that we’re actually helping people learn new things,” she said.
The program hasn’t just been a hit with the students — the staff at Gertie Belle is impressed with the results, too, because it teaches students things that will benefit them for their entire lives.”
This is the kind of enthusiasm we hear from all of our SDIL partner schools!