Teacher as Facilitator

In project based learning, the role of the teacher is just as important, if not more important than in traditional teaching. Some might say that once the project begins, the teacher can sit back and allow their students to tackle the learning tasks alone. This is far from the truth. If anything, students, left to explore the topic on their own, will need even more guidance from the teacher. This is because the genuine inquiry process of project based learning leads students into tricky areas of the unknown. Even when properly scaffolded, students will require constant input as they come to difficult topics and tasks. The teacher must fluidly move from group to group providing the right level of assistance and making sure each member is contributing effectively and positively.

As I endeavor to facilitate a project based learning environment, I will need to stay organized and quick on my feet. As a facilitator, I will need to recognize that students will be approaching their projects from different angles and I will need to adapt rapidly to each approach. In many ways, I feel project based learning will fit my teaching style well as I already employ many tasked based learning methods. PBL will take this much further but must be well thought out and developed to be successful.