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links and resources
Reference

Birat, A., Bourdier, P., Piponnier, E., Blazevich, A. J., Maciejewski, H., Duche, P., & Ratel, S. (2018). Metabolic and fatigue profiles are comparable between prepubertal children and well-trained adult endurance athletes. Frontiers in Physiology9, 387.

other STF links

Loving Accreditation (Feature)

Encouraging the Fine and Performing Arts in Lutheran Schools (ETnet)

Joy to the World: Kids Helping Kids (GLEnet)

 

LEA is looking for writers

LEA is looking for writers in front-line ministries for articles in future ShapingtheFuture magazine pieces. If you would like to write, contact ed.grube@lea.org (do not reply to this publication) to express and discuss your interests.

 

ECEnet

plant growing projectIn Support of Active Learning:
Encouraging Project-based Learning

A recent study has found that children have higher energy levels than trained endurance athletes (Birat, 2018). Therefore, to respond to these energy levels, their learning must be active. Learning must involve touching, talking, smelling, predicting, investigating, thinking, and comparing, to mention only a few. Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that provides for this active learning.

PBL enables students to master academic skills and content knowledge while developing the tools of activity necessary for future success.PBL enables students to master academic skills and content knowledge while developing the tools of activity necessary for future success. During the school day, children are engaged in projects that are meaningful and relevant to their lives and future. Projects develop from children simply asking questions. Children are provided with rich learning environments that encourage the asking of thoughtful, important questions—the why. Research and investigation to find answers to these questions allow children to think critically and learn deeply. The child’s or children’s inquiry, reflection, and collaboration guide their learning.

robotics buildingUnder guidance from teachers, children explore, discuss, design, share, and reflect on their discoveries. Project-based learning is integrated within the academic content and standards in the areas of math, science, language, art, and music. Strong social, emotional, and spiritual skills develop through the collaborative research process with others. Working together to find answers not only intrinsically motivates children but also empowers children through the learning process.

PBL at any age creates dispositions for learning that include curiosity, openness, optimism, resilience, and concentration. As professionals, we become intentional in setting student goals, become involved in children’s learning at a different level, and allow for learning opportunities that create long-term sustainability.

Children and even adults who are actively engaged in meaningful projects are usually not aware of the sounds or noises that surround them.PBL is active and exciting. Where there is excitement there is rarely silence. Children and even adults who are actively engaged in meaningful projects are usually not aware of the sounds or noises that surround them. Their intense interest in what they are doing diminishes the sounds in the background. This is why as teachers, parents, or observers come into a somewhat noisy classroom during times of active PBL learning, adults should be encouraged to join in and not just watch from the side. The noise will fade into the background as the focus grows and an answer just might be found to a question. 

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. —Chinese Proverb.

Michele Gnan is a professor and the executive director of the Concordia University Chicago Early Childhood Center and has been teaching in the Lutheran system for 20 years.

Doris Knuth served as the director of the Concordia University Chicago Early Childhood Center for 17 years and recently retired after 25 years of service in the Lutheran system. She now serves as an early childhood mentor for Concordia’s Early Childhood Initiative.

Photos © iStock/omgimages, Kathryn Brewer