Friday, February 29, 2008

Adult Ed Project Learning at Sanford

I spent Wednesday afternoon with Margie Genereux and her advanced applications adult education class. Students had already developed skills in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, Paint, and a number of other applications. In this advanced class, they were collaboratively working on developing the groundwork for a Sports Bar/Recreation Facility, making use of the tools they had learned, sharing and helping one another in pushing those skills to a higher level using the project as a focus. The motivation, energy and enthusiasm that comes through working in real-world projects was obvious. Love it!

We will be publishing their work here when it is completed. It involves floor plans, brochures, award certificates, emergency information, buying spreadsheets, job applications, menus, schedules, daycare information, a website, etc.

Margie explained that the adult ed teachers at SCAE (Sanford Community Adult Education) were involved in a PLC that is focusing on a more constructivist approach in working with adult learners. She introduced me to Best Practice: Standards for Teaching and Learning in America's Schools by Zemelman, Daniels and Hyde. The book is now on my must-buy list. It is about education in general, not just applying to adult education needs. I highly recommend it for groups involved in this kind of work.

Margie expertly introduced new possibilies to the class as the need occurred. Optional tools for those who could not afford Office: StarOffice, OpenOffice, Google Apps.

I loved one of Margie's quotes regarding using instructivism alone: "It's like following someone to a wedding . . . you'll never be able to get there again!"

Related links:

Constructivism vs Instructivism
Project-based Learning
Inquiry Learning
Essential Questions
Jim Moulton's Wiki on Project-based Learning
Educational Games Research: Constructivism vs Instructivism

1 comment:

Ramsey Ludlow said...

Sounds like a great day, Jim and Margie.
Here's another quote about the art of questioning ( leading to critical thinking and learners constructing their learning )that I often use with my learners:
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” (Naguib Mahfouz- 1988 Nobel Prize- Literature 1988). WE always aim for wise...