Selecting Your Learning Circle Project
This section offers some general ideas for how to
select a project for your Learning Circle. There are detailed suggestions
of dozens of projects that have been designed specifically for Learning
Circle interaction arranged by themes.
- Places and Perspectives
(History, Geography, Social Science)
- Computer Chronicles
(Journalism, Computer Publishing, English, Creative Writing)
- Mind Works (Creative
Writing, Literature, Social Science)
- Global Issues (Government, Politics, Environmental Studies,
- Society's Problems (Social Science, Writing, History,
- Energy and the Environment (Science, Social Science)--Coming
A Project Proposal Competition
One teacher asked each student to write a one-page description
of a project proposal. He told them to be as specific as possible. He
wanted them to suggest the questions or issues to investigate and the
type of information to gather from students in other locations.
The proposals were turned in with the author's name on a
separate page. The teacher posted the anonymous proposals on a bulletin
board and students read and evaluated the project ideas by using the characteristics
of successful projects (see previous page). A student vote limited the
selection to five project proposals. After discussions and modifications,
the students agreed on a single project.
Selecting Your Project: Group Problem Search
Some teachers pose a question or a problem to the students
and then collect their responses. For example, you might ask what is the
most important issue or problem facing your Learning Circle Special Community.
Each student who volunteers an issue or problem is asked to explain why
it is so important.
When the list is complete, students consider the reactions
of the students in other locations to each of the issues. Will all of
the locations define or experience the issue or topic in the same way?
Will they have similar or different ideas for problem solutions ? Which
issue or problem will be most interesting to explore with students in
different locations? When the brainstorming is complete, students vote
on the best selection for their sponsored project.
The final step is to discuss the type of information they
will collect within their own community and what project information they
will request from their peers in other places.
to PLANNING THE PROJECTS
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