But “those kids” are so hard… Equity Issues in PBL
Equity in education. It’s a real deal. But when I see people talking about it, it seems that each time, only one aspect at a time is brought up. It’s either,
“girls in STEM,” or
“poverty or not” or
“special education needs,” or
… fill in the blank with THOSE needy kids.
When we talk about equity, I truly believe we want to consider all aspects of fair play at the same time. But it’s so darned complicated and quite simply, it can get overwhelming at times.
Am I the only one? Raise your hands if you’re with me if you too experience the deep soul-crushing realization of how impossible it seems having only two hands that can save only one starfish at a time. Like I’m never enough for all of them and their unique needs.
But truly, that’s what I love about a PBL environment. The very intent, structure, design, and implementation of PBL helps students to develop confidence. To make better decisions. To develop independence and life-long agency. They earn and grow their voices for not only self-advocacy, but also suddenly they’re empathizing and advocating for others. And it works for ALL kids.
PBL helps to rewire brains. It’s science.
A truly and fully-functioning Project/Problem/Passion-Based Learning environment, with all it’s complexities beyond just “doing a project,” helps relieve the overwhelming burden of feeding all my children at once. Sure, I’m still fully vested in the hard daily work of teaching, but in this process I can SEE each student grow. I can KNOW that my work is truly having impact. I can HEAR the students’ voices strengthen and improve. I UNDERSTAND my hard work is worth it and I can rise again each morning to put on my heavy, but well-loved teaching vestments to do it all again. Each day my energy is renewed.
My husband asks why I’m in a good mood every single morning. It’s because I’m trying hard to help my “lost” babies find a place. Find a home. Find themselves within the PBL world so when they go out beyond our school walls, they can change the world.
If you want to know more about bringing PBL to your school and community, let me know!
- www.LifePracticePBL.org – learn more about practicing real life right now!
- www.GingerLewman.com – check out keynotes, workshops, and blog posts!
- Lessons for LifePractice Learning – the daily realities are shared and how to make it all work!
- LifePracticePBL project unit cards – get integrated project unit inspiration, elementary – high school!
- Practicing PBL Facebook group – join the conversation where educators are sharing and growing!
- Self-paced, self-directed, PBL online class – learn how to build your PBL class, on your own timeline!
- Building PBL Coaches online class — sometimes instructional coaches are asked to coach educators do things we’ve never done ourselves. Come learn how to coach PBL learning environments.