Challenge Based Learning

It's been a little while since I have done a reflection, but I am excited to talk about Challenge Based Learning. I know this concept has gone by a few different names over the years, but this is what it's called now. Basically, in class, students are presented with a problem and asked to come up with ways to solve it. So rather than just studying the effects of global warming, students would be challenged to figure out ways to fix it in their day lives. This means students would have to first research and understand at least one aspect of global warming so they can find ways to fix it. They are learning and doing at the same time.
Apple jumped on board and has the challenge based learning ideas on their website, though it is not an Apply concept. This kind of lesson planning fits closely with traditional lesson planning, just with a new twist. To use this kind of learning the experts say you must start with a big idea such as conservation, power, peace etc.. The next step is making this big deal local and personal; something the students can understand. These questions aren't meant to have correct answers; they are meant to make the students think.Then, based on the essential questions, teachers must challenge the students to generate concrete answers or solutions. Students then have to decide what information they need to know to answer the challenge. The questions they ask are called guiding questions.Since the challenge and questions should have been broad enough to allow for multiple answers, students or teams will present their solution to the challenge.

This way of thinking and teaching can be used in almost every subject.While pondering how this could be used in English, I wondered what it would look like for students to go through this process pretending they were a character in the book or play they read and use the reality of the story to guide their answers. Then to relate it specifically to them, they could compare it to the real world. This is a slightly different twist to the typical challenge based learning, but it is a way to teachers to use it without cutting too much from their curriculum. Apple's website has great resources and further explanations about Challenge Based Learning and wonder examples for teachers to us in their classrooms.

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