Background Project Based Learning: Alternative of Teaching and Learning Model for Pre-service Teacher Education in TVET
Advances in cognitive psychology have sharpened our understanding of the nature of skilled intellectual performance and provide a basis for designing environments conducive to learning. There is now widespread agreement among educators and psychologists (Collins, Brown, and Newman, 1989; Resnick, 1987; http://www.ed.gov ) that the advanced skills of comprehension, composition, reasoning, and experimentation are developed not by the passive reception of facts but by the active processing of information.
This constructivist view of learning, with its call for teaching basic skills within authentic contexts (hence more complex problems), for modeling expert thought processes, and for providing for collaboration and external supports to permit students to achieve intellectual accomplishments they could not do on their own, provides the conceptual underpinnings for our investigation of technology’s role in education reform.
Although variously described, the student-level outcome goals of most reform efforts are to increase learning, especially of advanced or higher-level skills, and to enhance student motivation and self-concept. In our view, the catalyst for this transformation is centering instruction around authentic, challenging tasks. Research suggests that institution as TVET have decomposed and decontextualized tasks into discrete component skills, that have no obvious connection with anything students do outside of school. Reformers argue that, instead, students should be given tasks that are personally meaningful and challenging to them.
Complex tasks permit students to take a more active role in defining their own learning goals and regulating their own learning. Students explore ideas and bodies of knowledge, not in order to recite verbal formalisms on demand but to understanding phenomena more deeply and search for information they need for their project work. Instruction becomes interactive. Complex, authentic tasks lend themselves to collaborative work.
Among the advantages of collaborative learning for students are opportunities to negotiate the purpose of their work, the meaning of the terms they use, and so on. As students justify their conclusions and act as external critics for each other, they becomes more reflective about their own thinking and able to evaluate the quality of their own work.
Collaborative projects facilitate the adjustment of tasks to accommodate individual differences. Thus, it becomes feasible to teach heterogeneous groups of students who vary in age, expertise (e.g., each group may need a video expert), achievement levels, and so on. Within such groups, the experience of explaining something to a fellow student who does not understand it can in itself be an educationally valuable experience.
In the constructive learning model, the lecturer becomes a facilitator and “coach” rather than knowledge dispenser or project director. Lecturing is without doubt effective for transmitting information but if we wish to develop thinking skills, problem solving abilities and lifelong learning skills a more student-centered approach must be taken. This involves a change in the role of the lecturer from presenting information to students to facilitating and guiding learning.
Palmer (1998) talks about preparing a learning space so that students can learn with and from each other and the there can be no doubting the potential of the group to learn from each other.
According to Race (2001) ‘learning from other people is the most instinctive and natural of all the learning contexts we experience’. Group discussion allows students to attend more clearly to meaning as they interact with the language of the discipline and put into their own words the issues arising from a particular topic. It also gives students an opportunity to direct and take responsibility for their own learning. It has been argued that in higher education today students must be supported to develop specific expertise and knowledge in their chosen discipline and also facilitated to develop ‘the skills necessary for employment and for life as a responsibility citizen’ (Fallows and Steve 2000).
In a group learning context students are facilitated to develop key skills such as communication and teamwork. Students can only become proficient in a skill by practicing it and in a group learning context the students have to learn how to work within a group and listen and negotiate with others in order to resolve dilemmas or conflicts.
These are important skills for students to develop as research indicates that employers worldwide want graduates who have well developed communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. The realization of this type of learning environment depends to a large extent on the skill of the tutor to lead and facilitate group discussion but many tutors find this task ‘difficult to perform satisfactorily and too readily fall back in frustration on their reserve position of authority, expert and prime talker’ (Jaques 2000).
Also, many students will want to be given the solutions to problems rather than taking responsibility for finding information and discussing it together and so there is a need for induction and tutor training and support.. There is a real potential to promote a deeper engagement with the subject matter and enhance the student experience by creating opportunities for group learning but this does require the tutor to focus more on the design and development of the learning experience and less on transmission of content.
Lecturers are responsible for setting up inquiry projects, arranging for access to appropriate resources, and creating the organizational structure within which groups do their work, but once work begins, lecturers no longer have the total control of the direction of instruction that they exercise in more conventional classrooms. Rather, they allow students to follow diverse learning pathways. This is not to say that all institution activities need be, or should be, project based.
We need not throw every piece of skills practice out with the bath water as we seek to make institution as TVET more stimulated, student-centered places for learning. We emphasize project-based learning because it is such an essential part of the thinking behind education reform. In further sections, we will look more closely at why project based learning so important to implemented for preparing pre-service teacher in TVET as teaching models.
Conclusion of Teaching and Learning Model for Pre-service Teacher Education in TVET
The lecturer’s role changes as well. The lecturer is no longer the center of attention as the dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals and providing guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providing suggestions and support for student activity.
A large number of research studies are conducted and various teaching and learning strategies are proposed to answer the question, “How can we teach more effectively?” This process is started with the behaviorist approach, continued with cognitivism , and ended up with constructivist approach for the time being. Constructivism gained attention for several reasons, such as learner-centered approach and active participation of students.
In classes where constructivist approaches are implemented, students have a chance of learning by doing, enhancing their critical skills, and shaping their learning process by being active participants. Project-based learning is one of the methods grounded in constructivism by supporting student engagement in problem-solving situations. Students in a project-based learning environment deal with real-life problems, which may result in permanent knowledge.
Project-based learning is not just a way of learning, but a way of working together. If students learn to take responsibility for their own learning, they will form the basis for their way. They will work with others in their adult life. So, project-based learning and the construction of artifacts enable the expression of diversity in learners, such as interests, abilities and learning styles.
This article will explore the theoretical foundations of projectbased learning and how project-based learning has been implemented as teaching and learning model for prepared pre-service teacher education in TVET. Finally, some practical advice and recommendations for trying project-based learning in the classroom will be provided.
Alternative of Teaching and Learning Model for Pre-service Teacher Education in TVET – Temporaktif