At my school, we are firm believers in colleague communication and lifelong learning among the faculty. Visiting each others’ classes and sharing teaching ideas are ways in which we are constantly developing ourselves as professionals. Viewing our professional development as a journey and modeling our learning for our students is the way in which we grow not only professionally, but personally.
When our curriculum moved towards a problem-based approach, it was clear that we needed to work together to train to become better at facilitating discussion, creating a comfortable classroom climate for risk-taking, understanding learning from different perspectives and also being vulnerable ourselves. This took summer grant money from the school, professional development seminars we created for ourselves and good readings. Every year we continue to work on curriculum writing and editing, dynamic geometry software lab improvement for the curriculum and integration and curriculum mapping of the curriculum as a whole.
I have worked to continue to improve the quality of teaching in general so that the PBL approach is consistent and sound. This takes time and committment on everyone’s part, as teaching with PBL is an art and must be practiced. Here are some resources that are good reading:
Chow, E. N.-L., Fleck, C., Fan, G.-H., Joseph, J., & Lyter, D. (2003). Exploring critical feminist pedagogy: Infusing dialogue, participation, and experience in teaching and learning. Teaching Sociology, 31, 259-275.
Hmelo-Silver, C., & Barrows, H. (2006). Goals and strategies of a Problem-Based Learning facilitator. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1), 21-39.
Saphier, J. & Gower, R. (1997) The Skillfull Teacher. Research for Better Teaching: Cambridge, MA.