Teaching Strategies

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Teaching Strategies
Teaching strategies come to life through Iowa Public Television resources. Problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, interdisciplinary instruction, and technology integration are cornerstones to Iowa Public Television multimedia resources. Browse the list, check out some links, pick up a new strategy or find out that you are using a strategy effectively!

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
Inquiry-Based Learning
Technology Integration
Interdisciplinary Instruction
Student Projects

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
Motivation, relevance and context, higher-order thinking, learning how to learn, and authenticity describe problem-based learning. Essentially, students are faced with a problem that is ill-structured, can change with the addition of new information, is not solved easily, and doesn't have a "right" answer.

This student-centered, learning-centered strategy puts the challenge of discovering and learning on the student and puts the teacher in the role of a facilitator who asks questions and offers some guidance in order to minimize frustration.

An astounding amount of information is available to educators via the Internet. Following are links that have been successfully used by IPTV staff.

Center for Problem-Based Learning Core
Are you curious as to what problem-based learning is? This is a great site with clear explanations and many resources including training opportunities, books, and videos.

Kids Make a Difference
This site provides examples of how kids make a difference through problem-based learning examples. When students solve and share solutions to problems that matter to them, they learn that knowledge and understanding has value. They learn that they are part of a community and that they have a stake in the world.

PROBLARC- Problem Based Learning Assessment and Research Centre
The University of Newcastle (Australia) has established PROBLARC to coordinate the development of problem-based learning methodology, act as a professional development centre, disseminate products, and support research and disseminate the results of the research.

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Problem-based learning has made its way into the School of Medicine. View how medical schools are using this teaching strategy within their curriculum to gain insight.

Schools of California Online Resources for Education
This Web site looks at how to make effective problem solvers for the Information Age. How can teachers foster problem solving ability? Resources, lesson plans by grade level, standards, and several other options are available. The focus in on social science, but many curricular areas are included in the resources.

Problem Based Learning Initiative -The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Another example of how a medical school is using problem-based learning.

University of Delaware - Problem-Based Learning
Current information about how higher education is using problem-based learning within their undergraduate programs. Check out the sample PBL exercise "When Twins Marry."


Inquiry-Based Learning
An old adage states: "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand." This is the essence of inquiry-based learning. Asking questions is natural for humans, especially children. Inquiry-based learning uses this curiosity to facilitate learning.

As our world becomes more face paced, with information available in a key stroke, children need to learn how to discern information that is credible and serves their purpose, then use that information to satisfy their curiosity. Learning how to find and use information is becoming as important as learning to read and compute basic facts mentally.

The following links have been assessed by IPTV staff to be worth your time.

WNET School
What is inquiry-based learning? How does it differ from the traditional approach? These and many other questions are answers through text, video transcripts, and a glossary of buzzwords within this Disney Learning Partnership site.

Connect Magazine
Connect Magazine is a journal supporting inquiry-based teaching and learning. The issue features six case studies written by teachers participating in the Institute for Inquiry's Teacher Learning Group.

The Getty's Art Education Web Site
Our Place in the World within ArtsEdNet discusses how to use inquiry-based learning in the art classroom. Lesson plans, thematic approach ideas, assessments, and many other pieces are available at this site.

Developing Inquiring Communities in Education Project (DICEP) is a group of educational practitioners and university-based researchers promoting inquiry as a key mode of learning and teaching at all levels in education. Their publications and papers provide you with valuable research.

The Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools
Biology Guided Inquiry Learning Environments (BGuILE) is a collaboration project designed to bring the best of inquiry into middle and high school biology classrooms. Check out the curricula link for a look at two curricula units. BGuILE learning scenarios include hands-on discussion-based activities integrated with software investigations of rich simulations and datasets.

SMSU College of Natural and Applied Sciences
Southwest Missouri State University's College of Natural and Applied Sciences has created this Web resource to share an overview of inquiry-based learning, and the National Education Standards for Inquiry.


Technology Integration
Integration has become a buzzword within education. Simply put, integration is merging curricula or topics in order to study a topic within more than one subject. Integrating technology into a classroom can pose its own difficulties. Iowa Public Television has developed products to assist with this integration. Additionally, these sites have been found to be excellent sources of information.

Education World
Education World has articles about curriculum; distance learning; technology use, planning, tools, and experts; keyboarding, projects and others. Knowledgeable educational-technology professionals voluntarily contribute to share their expertise and experience. "How Can We Eliminate Roadblocks to the Information Highway?" appears at the link provided and discusses technology integration.

Education World features a second article "Incorporating Technology Into Classroom Curriculum." Computers are here to stay, and several entities have established ways to assist classroom teachers with the charge of using technology hardware and software effectively and efficiently to enhance the curriculum.

The National Centre of Technology in Education
The National Centre for Technology in Education is sponsoring the Schools Integration Project. Find information about the project along with documents for planning guidance.

The Institute for School Innovation
Preparing Today's Schools for Tomorrow's Challenges -- The Institute for School Innovation is available to teachers and schools. Technology intensified instruction at four grade level configurations makes this a valuable source for ideas and examples.


Interdisciplinary Instruction
Making learning more natural, meaningful, and less isolated by content lines when appropriate is the premise behind interdisciplinary instruction. Planning around a theme, piece of literature, or unit can lead students on a journey of discovery through the core subject areas and the arts. Educators know that the more times content is experienced the better students understand. And when the content is presented from different perspectives, the learning becomes deeper. When connecting topics across the disciplines, focus on making connections that are logical, natural, and appropriate.

Core Knowledge Foundation
What are the pros and cons of interdisciplinary or thematic instruction? The use of this model has become a philosophy for some - leaving behind the division between content areas. When curriculum is taught this way, how do you know the students comprehend the connections?

Tampa Bay Library Consortium
Interdisciplinary World Wide Web sites that offer resources for application in the media center or classroom.

Why Not Interdisciplinary Instruction
"Why Not Interdisciplinary Instruction?" is an article that highlights experiences with interdisciplinary instruction in a high school setting. Guidelines, or words to the wise, are also shared.

Want to know more?
Find an article or articles to satisfy your curiosity at these sites.


Student Projects
Inquiry-based learning, WebQuests, and Problem-based Learning can lead to student-centered projects. As a culmination project, sharing information in some way is the most used tactic.

Are you in need of ideas for helping students organize group projects and present their findings? Would an assessment framework (rubric) assist you in conveying your expectations?

Here are two resources developed by Iowa Public Television's staff (and certified teachers). These Adobe pdf files may take a few moments to download. (You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these.)

10 Steps for a Successful Group Presentation

Student Production Assessment Framework