29 October 2010

The Project and Problem Solving Methods of Teaching/learning in Modern Education

The progressive methods of teaching promote children to be actively involved in their own learning. As I discussed a lot on this pragmatism in the contemporary formal education system now lets look at project and problem solving methods and have a view of the strength and weaknesses in the education process.
Project is carrying a task from one point to another in a specific time and series of activities.The problem should be identified and the need to carry a project.The problem should be relevant in the real community life and should given hints on dealing with the problem.Pupils must discover solutions to the problem and the project must be of the level of the pupils.
Pupils can be allocated to take project work as a whole class ,if the class is small. The large class can be devided into groups and tasked to take a specific duty in each group.
Pupils should know when the task can be completed,and how the task can be presented.The sources that can be used to carry the project can be consulted and note the problems that may be encountered.
The pupils should be allowed to work freely and evaluate their successes and weaknesses of their project work.
The results of the project should be displayed or posted in the internet or in the school archives for revisit by other other pupils ,for motivation ,to have self evaluation or for pupils' references.
Project work help in learning content from various subject is integrated with pupils experiences .Pupils can be assigned parts of their interests ,backgrounds and talents inorder to arouse their motivational stimulus.
Problem Solving Method:Pupils can take ownership of the activities once they come up with the problems themselves.
Problems should be relevant to pupils experiences and can be acted upon if there is more than one solution. If the problem has only one solution ,pupils are tackling an open ended problem and are not encouraged to come up with many solutions as possible.
Problem solving in real life situations encourage help to be responsible in their life matters It prepares children to develop scientific process skills and become inventors.The fast and slow learners together are motivated to work on their own pace.
However the method is time consuming and affect the coverage of all topics planned and requires lot of funds to have all apparatus needed.It also doesn't cater for individual differences.
The criteria of evaluatuion of the lesson is to acknowledge whether the problem solved
or not ,taking each individual capabilities not overall conclusions.The level of pupils' operation is it appropriate and is the problem related to the pupils' immediate environment.
Advantages of Progressive methods are numerous including instilling critical thinking and trains in problem solving.
It utilize children's curiosity to discover things and is child centred ,thus helping pupils to develop all their senses and skills ,helping them to comprehent ideas and concepts.
Problem solving involves deductive and inductive reasoning as it presents a high level of pupil's motivation.
Teachers are help to discover new knowledge,ideas ,facts ,skills and opinions resulting in high content retention this promote self esteem in children
They enhance creativity and freedom to learn on their own ,thus promoting democracy in education ,since there is more pupil activity and less teacher's interference ,thus helping the learner to claim responsibility of own learning.
Disadvantages of Progressive Methods include to require a lot of preparation on the teacher's part of preparation and actual implementation.It demand lot of money as they require more resources to be used in lessons.
Learners lost focus ,if not propery facilitated ,which consequently led to disciplinary problems as it can be frustrating especially if poorly conducted and producing negative results.

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