Our team has had the opportunity to work with schools for many years, observing the pendulum shift back and forth from whole school Project Based learning to the Reading First initiative and now back to the whole school Project Based Learning initiative.
Through action research and reading other folks research, what we know is for students to reach learning outcomes, teachers have to define a number of factors that affect learning: goals, resources, processes, expectations, timelines. These constraints, depending on how they are presented to students, can increase or decrease the amount of “student-directed” versus “teacher-directed” time.
Therefore, teachers trained in a balanced instructional design understand and maneuver through decisions that maximize the effective use of time, resources, and energy used during the learning process. Not all students respond the same to instructional techniques and different content may be better suited to different approaches. Thus, a balanced instructional design allows teachers and students the greatest opportunities for success. Self-efficacy is a focal point of all aspects of a balanced approach.
Check out a module we put together to explore the components of a balanced instructional design – specifically understanding when and how to use direct, explicit instruction and when to encourage student inquiry. Click here to view this information on the Edu-Sources site.
Educators Coop -2014
How to Reinvent PBL to be More Meaningful By Thom Markham