So many teachers design projects in isolation.
🙁 They feel like they don’t have time to get others on board.
🙁 More voices means potential disagreement on outcomes or processes.
🙁 They fear they won’t be able to deliver their curriculum. Or assess their standards.
🙁 Plus, let’s be honest, they fear losing a bit of control.
But here’s the major problem with that way of thinking.
It’s the complete antithesis of how project-based experiences are planned and delivered in the real-world.
In the real-world there are multiple stakeholders, opinions, and team members to appease.
More consequentially, projects planned in isolation have limited potential to make a lasting IMPACT.
Pictured above are project design teams at Cambridge International School in Bratislava.
Some are organised across grade levels. Others, by departments. And others, as leadership teams- tasked with developing the overall scope and sequence for project delivery across the school.
it’s a massive school wide effort to steer the ship in a more positive direction.
And here are the top five benefits they are gaining because of it:
- Deeper Development of Curricular skills: By planning projects together with teachers across multiple subjects, project teams ensure students engage in more rigorous, authentic work as scientists, mathematicians, and historians; rather than merely scratching the surface of academic content.
- Shared Workload: Do you dread organising risk management assessments for project excursions? Or developing supplementary project resources? Guess what?! Some teachers love it. Working with a team ensures this important work gets done without one person shouldering the entire work load. Team members can work on tasks according to their strengths and interests.
- Better Project Ideas: We all think we have the best ideas. I’m especially guilty of it. But much to our chagrin, our teacher teammates usually have better ones. Or ideas that help turn our limited project ideas into deep and meaningful expeditions. I witnessed this truism when an art teacher at CIS connected with the ‘Forest School’ coordinator, who helped her transform her ‘nature art’ activity into an expedition around nature based student led tours. The 2-3 lesson art activity turned into a 4 week deep, meaningful investigation into the lessons we can heed from nature.
- Incorporation of Real World Expertise: I’ve seen so many project designers try to make superficial community connections 2 days before students exhibit work. In teams, you can make those connections early on; reach out to parent entrepreneurs who can mentor students in their business creation; connect with the local museum who can speak to students about museum curation prior to them building their own exhibits. These connections are almost always developed because someone on the planning team knows someone with relevant expertise in the real world.
- It’s way more fun: There, I said it. Planning projects in teams is actually pretty fun. And fun should be allowed. You will laugh more, stress less, and re-ignite your spark for teaching. Plus, your kids will like you far more for it. They will see that you don’t have all the answers, and that they don’t have to either.
Where’s the starting point for planning in teams?
I know what you might be thinking.
You might be thinking, well that’s a great concept Kyle, but I don’t have the TIME or RESOURCES to plan effectively in a team.
That’s where I come in.
I developed a simple, scaffolded, self-paced project design course that provides all the resources you need, and a flexible pace for you and your team to finish it.
1,000 educators have already taken the course and 4 more signed up last week.
It will guide you through the whole design process, and provide you with a certificate for 12 Professional Development hours upon completion. 🙂
What’s more- it’s discounted for a few more days to $150 USD (40% off).
You and your team can sign up for the course here – – -> Project-Based Learning Design Certificate Course.
To your success designing projects in a TEAM!