WHAT IF…PHENOMENON-BASED LEARNING PROJECTS: AUGMENTING UPPER AND EARLY LEARNING STEM LESSONS
1 University of Jaen (SPAIN)
2 University of Texas at Tyler (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:What if… our classrooms produced students who were masters of collaboration, inculcated with the work ethic of excellence, versed on global perspectives, critical thinkers with a top-quality toolbox of strategies, comfortable expressing themselves in public in different languages, and most importantly in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, had the emotional intelligence and empathetic qualities that rendered them more qualified than machines? Phenomenon-based Learning (PhBL) has been proven to extend these elements and help develop students who are positioned to learn on their own and who will be prepared to solve the problems that we will inevitably face in the future.
The objectives of this poster are to present a resource for educators to:
• introduce Phenomenon-based Learning (PhBL) as a viable strategy to incorporate inquiry-based projects that target educational materials in a more organic, holistic manner, with the goal of helping students to acquire information more deeply and use language more naturally.
• restructure STEM subjects in ways that activate the learners’ higher-order cognitive skills, develop their inferencing, cooperative and communicative skills, and to become involved in evaluating their own process of learning through the study of natural phenomena.
• create lower and upper school projects that engage and encourage students to develop those skills that will render them more sophisticated, more qualified and more relevant than the technology of today and of the future.
Methodology of Phenomenon-Based Learning:
An educational movement initiated by Finland’s educational system in 2016, PhBL strives to expand passive learning approaches into learning experiences that immerse students deeper into contextual situations aligned with real-life issues while also applying knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. Students develop important skills such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork as they explore observable events and build knowledge based on evidence to help explain and predict phenomena.
PhBL is deeply rooted in constructivist learning theory as well as socio-constructionist and socio-cultural learning theories. An expansion of Project-based Learning (PBL) and Problem-based Learning (PrBL) scenarios, Phenomenon-based Learning fosters greater engagement in learning new knowledge and skills as students investigate phenomenon-related topics of personal interest and concern, while making connections across subject areas in a global context. Enquiry questions are typically centered around topics that begin with either a “how”, “why”, or “what if” scenario. Students acquire an understanding of new information through the process of solving the problem associated with the phenomenon they personally identified with, and become more responsible and independent, and seek practical relevance to everyday life.
Results and conclusions of studies:
Studies show that students perform equally, if not higher, on standardised exams after learning through Phenomenon-based Learning projects, than those who are taught through teacher-centred methods. The focus on the learner helps students to become more active in their own process; the inclusion of global issues and multi-cultural recognition, along with the other elements of the PBL structure, activate student engagement, interest and belief in their own future possibilities.
Keywords: STEM, ESL, EFL, scaffolding, Phenomenon Based Learning, project based learning, student centred learning, CLIL, growth mentality, language acquisition.