We believe that if we transform the way we teach, we will transform the way our students learn. Using real-world problems in our teaching ensures that students are equipped with skills, knowledge and an understanding of the world they will one day face.
We believe that formal assessment is 'old school' and that students should be provided with response choices so that they have a voice and an opinion resulting in better understanding, effort and engagement in the learning process.
This is why we believe in PBL!
With this Project-based learning task we wanted to get the students to think innovatively and collaborate to solve the real world problem of stereotyping. While doing this we wanted them to learn new skills in English and Digital Literacy such as effective presentations and website creation.
Students had to identify a stereotype or stereotypes that they wanted to break down and then identify how they could do so, by creating a final product. There were no limitations as to what they could create. They presented their website and final product to their parents at a showcase evening. There were checks and balances embedded as they progressed. Along the way they also wrote a poem, designed a survey and analysed the data, read their setwork, had a debate and wrote a critique. They also developed their soft skills of empathy, collaboration and introspection.
This learning facilitated the development of the following skills identified in CAPS:
We began the PBL with a design thinking workshop where learners had to create a toy for a toddler. We used this to springboard into a discussion of how the learners adhered to stereotypical ideas when creating the toys. This led to discussions on stereotyping and identity formation and then into the learners' creation of their websites and final product. While busy with this, in class, the learners were also reading a novel, chosen from a list, that dealt with stereotypes and had to complete a task based on this.
After the showcase evening was over, pupils engaged in some feedback from their peers. They completed a Google Form where they gave feedback on their group members and they completed one on themselves too.
PRESENTATION TO AN AUTHENTIC AUDIENCE
Parents, friends, and family were invited to attend a ‘Showcase with the Stars’ evening where the Grade 8s showcased their campaigns and products. The NGOs these students created addressed discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, economic status, personality types, and more. Their innovative solutions to prevent stereotyping ranged from blogs to social media campaigns to bracelets to clothing ranges to children's books to online courses to board games to support apps - all of which were displayed on the night. With thanks to Parrot Interactive Products, the top 6 projects were displayed on large LED Interactive TV Screens.
What PARENTS had to say...
"I think all the kids did an amazing job and their level of teamwork and broad-based thinking was just admirable. It’s heartwarming seeing how passionate they were and their ideas were amazing.Their bravery in answering questions is admirable."
"I was blown away! The level of thinking and creativity at this young age was amazing. A few parents said how we wish we had this training at school. The ideas were brilliant. Content so relevant."
"Well researched and presented. Astounded at the level of presentation and confidence of the Grade 8s."
In Business Studies, the students are using their ideas from this project to market a business and their product, as well as, draw up a business plan and budget to produce the product. A few of the groups are also taking their projects further. One group has met with the diversity task team at our school to see how they could integrate some of their ideas and resources to transform school practices.
Want to learn more about PBL? Keen on Design Thinking?
Bring us to your school for our Extreme Project Makeover, Design Thinking or Breaking down the Silos workshops.
Or get your school signed up for our PurpleZA gamified PD platform and check out our epic Power of Project-based Learning and Design Thinking in your Classroom courses.