Module 2 of the PGCEi (though Nottingham) is in two parts.
Part A starts with framing unit. It introduces various theories of learning such as behaviourism, cognitive constructivism, and social constructivism. Unit 2 then delves deeper into learning theories/approaches with a social focus, exploring dialogic talk, oracy, scaffolding and contingent teaching, and the spiral curriculum. ZPD is only mentioned about 8 billion times during Unit 2.
I’ve been reading a bit about project-based learning (PjBL) recently. I had to write a critique of an approach used in my context as part of the PGCEi. Our Secondary course now follows a PjBL approach*, so I thought it was worth trying to understand the approach in more detail and evaluating whether it’s effective. Here’s some useful reading on PjBL in general.
Larmer et al (2015) seems to be a go-to resource for PjBL, and set out some clear design principles for the approach:
Check out their ‘Gold-standard PBL’ white paper for an overview.
Thomas (2000), shares a great overview on the difference between ‘doing a project’ and ‘project-based learning’. They stress that in PjBL…
- projects are central to the curriculum rather than peripheral
- driving questions or problems guide the learning
- projects are student-driven and realistic (authentic)
- projects involved constructive, sustained investigation