Long Range Plan - GESD41 - Page 13



The District 41 Model
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and
Inquiry

Our 21st Century Teaching and Learning Model aligns
to authentic, real-world work and exploration and is
appropriate at all grades. The Model is inquiry-based
through the use of Problem-Based Learning with
transdisciplinary approaches (meaning explicitly making
connections across subjects) and is grounded in the state
and national standards. Problem-Based Learning is not
an event or a random special occurrence; it is rooted in
our planned units and only thrives when it is connected to
authentic learning and the standards. Inquiry involves the
science, art and spirit of curiosity. Effective inquiry is more
than just asking questions. “A complex process is involved
when individuals attempt to convert information and
data into useful knowledge. Useful application of inquiry
learning involves several factors: a context for questions, a
framework for questions, a focus for questions, and different
levels of questions. Well-designed inquiry learning produces
knowledge formation that can be widely applied.” (National
Science Standards, 2000).
Panel
The most critical part of the PBL cycle is the panel...when
students present their ideas, receive feedback and defend
their solutions. Ideally, panel members have a vested
Problem-Based Learning is not
an event or a random special
occurrence; it is rooted in our
planned units and only thrives
when it is connected to authentic
learning and the standards.”
interest and are genuinely looking for solutions. Students
get feedback on the problem at hand, and learn about the
experiences of the panelists. Developing and nurturing
partnerships will be at the heart of District 41’s PBL process.
Partners from business, industry and universities will
co-teach with teachers, work with students, sit on panels,
mentor, and share ideas for our curriculum. The PBL
Coaches are the primary contact for industry partnerships
and work with teachers to match the panel to the PBL.
13

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