本學期的專案學習主題 ｢Sea Change｣，老師帶領同學們以跨領域、跨學科的方式引導同學們｢跨域學習｣，動手操作、深入體驗，與加拿大夥伴學校CIC學科相符合的自然科學、社會人文、音樂藝術等學科採用源於實踐基礎的｢項目任務式學習/問題導向學習｣，PBL學習法(Project/Problem Based Learning)，並取得與加拿大安大略省夥伴學校相對應的完整學分。
G9和G10同學的小組名稱是Beluga Pod，他們會從History歷史、General Science科學和Career Studies職涯探索三門課堂中得到學分。
G11和G12同學的小組名稱是Penguin Pod ，孩子們會從Music音樂、Business商業學，Engineering工程學或Film影片多媒體 三門課中得到學分。
親子天下雜誌報導：想培養出未來的人才，不能不認識PBL學習法！PBL指的是「問題／任務導向學習」（Problem/Project -Based Learning，PBL），它是以現實世界為基礎，並且以學生為中心的學習方式。 PBL 將學習與重大的任務或問題掛鉤，使學習者投入於問題中；PBL會設計真實性的任務，強調把學習設置到複雜的、有意義的問題情景中，通過學習者的自主探究和合作來解決問題，從而學習潛藏在問題背後的科學知識，養成解決問題的技能和自主學習的能力。
美國聖地亞哥名校High Tech High 校長Larry Rosenstock 2008來台演講，分享High Tech High成功的三個主要教學概念： 個人化(Personalization)、成人環境的連結(Connection with Adult World) 與專案教學法(Common Intellectual Mission / PBL)。Larry 認為未來教育應兼具想像力、科技及感覺等元素，並且認為教育最重要的是讓孩子在學習過程中，保有童年的快樂。在High Tech High 的校園裡，老師扮演著顧問的角色，讓學生以專案式學習(PBL Project Based Learning) 的方式，接觸各種不同領域的知識，並透過多元化同僚和校外學習，發掘自己的潛能，激發學生未來必備的關鍵能力。
VIS的學生們很幸運，在台灣就可以享有與美國聖地亞哥High Tech High相同品質的專案式學習(PBL Project Based Learning) ，在High Tech High任教6年的VIS副校長Patrick McMahon正帶領著教師團隊，以專業與熱情引導同學們從做中學，培養VIS的孩子們責任與獨立，以及勇敢追求創新的精神，成為更有創意的領導者，可以解決困難問題，承擔社會責任，成為更好的自己，活出更棒的人生。
The Sea Change Project
Essential Question: Can waste create meaningful change?
"One man’s trash should not be another man’s dinner. Plastics are ending up in our food and everyone has a seat at the table. Individually, we can create small ripples but collectively we can create a tidal wave of change to stem the advancing plastic tide."
The Sea Change project is a bold interdisciplinary endeavor that combines rigorous academic skills with authentic community partnerships all while bolstering sustainability and a personal connection to nature. Our goal is to source local plastic or “waste” and create products that blend art and function. Students will work in teams or “subjects” led by our expert teachers to collaborate, design, and build projects in coordination with our community partners' needs. Students think critically, analytically, and creatively to find, evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments, plan, design, build, and present solutions. This project aims to address the SDGs, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
While several organizations around the world are focusing on systems for pulling plastic waste directly out of the Pacific Ocean, our primary focus is to trap waste plastic after it’s intended use then find ways to breathe a new life into it. This approach helps to stop plastic from entering our marine environment. We have made it our mission to collect then insert waste plastic into a circular system by either recycling, downcycling, or upcycling it so future generations won’t need to pull it off the beaches or out of our oceans
Phase 1- Skill building: Students will do a series of “mini” projects based on the PBL courses they selected.
Phase 2- Launch: Students will meet our Community Partners and begin to investigate the central problem.
Phase 3- Connect, collect, and shred: Students will find community partners to source plastic and to do field research.
Phase 4- Design:Students will design products to meet community
Phase 5- Build: Students will build the final projects.
Phase 6-Exhibition: Students will show their work to the world.
Phase 7-Reflect: Students will reflect on the project as they prepare for their Presentations of Learning. Students will also build their digital portfolios during this phase to document the project.
Organization (Grade Level and Credits)
During PBL time, VIS teachers’ teaching standard are based on the Ontario Curriculum, students will be organized by Pods. A Pod is a group of marine animals that live together but for our project it's the name for a group of students. Each pod will get three credits that meet the requirements of our partner school CIC in Canada.
The 9th and 10th grade students are in the Beluga Pod.
The Beluga Pod teaches the following credits:
History, General Science, and Career Studies.
The 11th and 12th grade students are in the Penguin Pod.
This Pod teaches the following credits:
Music, Business, and Engineering (Film for a select few students only).
The time students spend in PBL time will be divided between these classes. SInce PBL is interdisciplinary there will be many times that work in PBL covers more than one credit subject. The PBL schedule changes often to fit the project's needs so students are encouraged to attend Learning Support, check Google Classroom often, and communicate with teachers on a regular basis. At the end of the semester students switch Pods and then take three new credits in the 2nd semester.
Teaching standard are based on the Ontario Curriculum
Project based Learning / VIS Design Principles
VIS design principles: personalization, adult world connection, and common intellectual mission, teacher as designer.
Responding directly to the needs of students, all four principles connect to the broad mission of preparation for the adult world. Moreover, all four call for structures and practices that schools do not now routinely employ. The design principles permeate every aspect of life at VIS: the small size of the school, the openness of the facilities, the personalization through advisory, the emphasis on integrated, project-based learning, student exhibitions, and the provision of ample planning time for teacher teams during the work day. We discuss each design principle in turn below.
VIS Schools Throughlines
Voice & Choice
Projects are designed to include student, parent & community voice in the co-design of educational
- How are students included in the project planning processes?
- How are parents invited into the various processes of the project?
- How are community members or experts used in planning, critique or revision of student work?
- How might students, parents, community members and experts be included in assessment?
Equity & Diversity
Projects are designed to provide access and challenge for all students to engage in meaningful work.
Projects are designed to value a wide range of perspectives, skills, knowledge, content, and products.
- How will struggling students access this work?
- How will all students find moments of challenge in this work?
- How are meaningful connections created for all students with peers, experts and teachers?
- What are different ways in which students may shine in this project?
Projects are designed to foster thoughtful, deliberate practice.
- How are opportunities created for students and teachers to collect their thoughts about their work?
- How does this project foster collegial relationships designed to help students and teachers meditate
- on their experiences?
- How might reflections be incorporated in assessment?
- How are reflections incorporated in the thoughtful development of deliberate practice?
Projects are designed to tap into students’ and teachers’ personal questions, values, and passions.
- Why is this work important?
- What makes this work authentic?
- How might students and teachers engage in deep inquiry through this project?
- Where will the project live after the exhibition is over?