Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

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, Writing)--Coming Soon
  • Society's Problems (Social Science, Writing, History, Statistics/math)--Coming Soon
  • Energy and the Environment (Science, Social Science)--Coming Soon

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.



Copyright © 1997, 2002, Margaret Riel