Parramatta Marist recently introduced Year 10 students to 151 – the extension of the Problem Based Learning (PBL) model into the senior curriculum.
Unlike PBL, the 151 model gives students an introductory period (1), whole day (5 periods) and a follow up period (1) per subject over a two week cycle. This allows teachers to work intensively with senior students on real-world problems.
As part of their introduction to the PDHPE module, the students were asked to do a test of 12 multiple choice questions based on the information they were going to learn for the day. The average was 58%.
During the follow up period, the class was asked to complete the same test – the average was 75%.
While the increase in the test average is important, I think the feedback from students (see below) is key in predicting 151’s success:
In my honest opinion, today’s five periods of PDHPE were the most enjoyable I have ever experienced, I had the opportunity to work with classmates that I do not usually work with. I found the case study method of working, one of the most effective methods of educating young people.
Innovations in the secondary school often falter around the post compulsory years due to the prescriptive nature of the syllabus and HSC examinations. In recognising the obvious limitations, staff at Parramatta Marist have worked collaboratively and creatively to address this curriculum construct and improve the learning outcomes of students.
Teachers talking about new ways of learning teaching always beats the alternative.