Research into blogging in an interdisciplinary project
The focus of the research is to look at the question, how can blogging in an interdisciplinary project support the development of 21st century skills and content knowledge, specifically math content? This study looks at one use of technology that supports the development of 21st century skills; the 6 C’s, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Character, and global Citizenship, and how it can support content as we push our practice and stretch our thinking of high quality PBL.
Background and Need
Problem based learning is a method of teaching and learning that originated at McMaster University, Medical Program, in the mid-60s. This method of teaching and learning spread fairly fast and within a few years of its conception. Now several hundred schools offer some form of problem-based learning. The school site where the study took place is a public school of choice that has been implementing project based learning for over 20 years, it is the flagship school of a network of over 200 PBL school sites. Based on feedback from all stakeholders; students, staff, and parents, the site planned to redesign the experience for students. Students reported being overwhelmed with managing multiple projects at the same time. Teachers reported being spread thin trying to incorporate all elements of a high quality PBL along with giving valuable feedback and meaningful assessment.
When comparing national math scores to California math scores, California has been performing between 5-12 points below the national average every year from 1990 to 2017. Both the nation and California are performing below the proficient level. NAEP (2017). The 2017 CAASP results show that math scores in California for all students from 3rd grader up to 11th grade that took the CAASP assessment, less than 50% of students met or exceeded the standards. The data also shows that the math scores in the district overall are very similar to that of California scores. For the focus high school site score are very low, less than 20% of students met or exceeded the standards. CAASPP, (2017). Within the focus district students take the Mathematics Inventory at least two times each year. In January 2018 9th graders at focus high school took the MI, the result was that 58% were below basic, 31% were basic, 8% were proficient and 3% were advanced. This data shows that as a state, district, and especially a school site, we need to strengthen or change how our students experience math.
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