In Westminsters 8th grade, we are experiencing year two of a new course called Synergy 8. Synergy is a non-departmentalized, transdisciplinary, non-graded, community-issues, problem-solving course. While we begin with an alpha project to practice project process, we use the Falconer method to empower student questioning and curiosity. From the student questions, the entire team generates the projects on which learners of all ages ultimately work. Our conversational focus will be PBL (project-based learning, problem-based learning, passion-based learning, place-based learning, etc.). We intend to generate ideas from an exchange of current practices and possibilities. We hope to move beyond mere conversation and bridge into collaboration by building for the future more student-learner generated PBLperhaps even big, hairy audacious PBL that unites our various schools and increases the mass of folks working on the problems which define our world. For more detailed stimulus about Synergy and PBL, see categories and tags on Bos and Jills blogs: Its About Learning, http://itsaboutlearning.wordpress.com (Bos blog) and Experiments in Learning by Doing, http://jplgough.wordpress.com (Jills blog).
Jill Gough and Bo Adams intend to facilitate a participatory discussion and work session through various Gamestorming processes and other active-engagement protocols. Depending on the particular session dynamics, we will use a web 2.0 tool or two to facilitate ongoing work on big-picture PBL.