CTBC International Academy Newsletter_Week 14

Here at CIA the foreign teachers do a lot of PBL: Project Based Learning. We have a fantastic computer lab where our students can work individually or in groups on any given assignment. The aim of these assignments is to foster and encourage collaboration, independent thought, and critical thinking. The end result is usually a PowerPoint presentation or the use of Google Slides or any other medium the students choose.

One of our teachers in Geography Class tasked his students withdrawing accurate maps of certain countries in the Middle East and research the main exports of those countries and the like, GDP, past-times, languages, etc.

Another teacher asked his students in World History Class to write up and present a synopsis of the events that led to the beginning of WWI. They had to do most of this research themselves. The teacher becomes secondary, his/her main job is to help the students with research methods, better language structures and so on. The teacher becomes more like a guide, handing over the reins of the project to the student in order to nurture active responsibility and critical appraisal skills. We believe that these are just as important as facts and figures!

And that’s another great positive about the approach of the teachers at CIA. Our students are often given room to help design and collaborate in the structure of a project. Questions, debates, and discussions are all encouraged in order to foster a greater understanding of the goal of a project.

This is a great way to introduce our students to the rigors of the modern workplace where employees in large companies regularly have to present their work to a wider audience either personally or remotely.

This can be a nerve-wracking experience for many people, so we start guiding our students here before they begin university. This is great preparation, and nearly all our students love the experience, or at least learnt to love it! Like anything in life, the more they do it, the better they get at it and from it.