Monday, August 1, 2016

The Need Challenge Based Learning (CBL)

   When I began using CBL with my students back in 2009 I knew it was a framework that we could use to cover the Florida Framework for K-12 Gifted Learners well, but it has also brought something else into light for both my students and myself. Within the CBL framework students are called to work hard to fully understand an issue completely before coming up with a solution, but when we look around the world today that is not what we are seeing. It seems like with so many issues we watch people take polarizing sides (sometimes aggressively) without truly understand the issue as a whole. 

I recently went and saw the Matthew McConaughey's War Drama Free State of Jones, which tells a different side of the Civil War and The Southern Reconstruction Period than what we find in our American History books. It tells the story of the Mississippi man, Newton Knight, who deserted from the Confederate Army and fought against slavery and injustice in the south. It also tell how one of his ancestors, who was one eighth African American was arrest in the 1960's for marrying outside of his race. That story along with the race issues that still remain in our country today I have to wonder if William Faulkner was right with his quote- "The past is never dead. It' is not even the past. " 


With all that said, this post is not meant to enter a race debate other than to point out that with race, like so many other issues of today (economy, how to handle modern immigration, education....), there is a need for us to dig deep and fully understand an issue before taking a stand or creating a solution. 

Here is my real point, it is our job as educators to prepare our students for THEIR future. If we were honest, we have no idea what that future is going to look like, except that they will encounter real world problems. These problems will not come in nice neat packages, which is why I am so thankful for the CBL framework. This framework is teaching us to slow down enough to define our problems and then fully explore them before coming up with solutions. How much better would our world be if we all did that?