Building Adult Culture

In order to engage students in meaningful collaborative work, we have to have in place a strong culture of adult collaboration.

Photo of Kristin La
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We are transitioning to PBL at our school and are asking students and teachers to do school differently. Ultimately, we want students to work collaboratively on authentic projects with real world connections. We want them to drive their own learning and take agency over their work. 

The team of teachers that are at the forefront of this initiative are also being asked to change the way they have traditionally planned and taught lessons. In addition to the daily demands of planning and grading and counseling and calling families, we are also asking teachers to plan in cross-curricular teams in order to fully embrace the idea of creating authentic real world projects. But this takes work. And change. And change is hard. 

One thing that becomes more and more obvious every day is the need for meaningful collaboration with one another so that we can support each other in this new and challenging work. And if we are asking students to work collaboratively, then we as adults have to figure out how to do the same. The student culture in a school is never going to surpass the adult culture in the building. If we can create, foster and enhance our adult collaboration practices, then we can be the model for our students as they set out to do their work. 

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Photo of Emma Scripps

Kristin - how would you propose teachers work collaboratively? I think the idea of adult modeling is great - so important. How might teachers model those essential skills of PBL for student?