This one is about project-based learning and has the usual disparagement of traditional teaching:
“Wetherington described learning through STEM as moving away from teachers lecturing and students completing worksheets, and more toward hands-on integrated lessons.
“We are providing the context for students to learn math and science and integrate them together and apply their knowledge in new and powerful ways,” he said. “It’s a very exciting thing to see students take knowledge that they’ve traditionally seen on a whiteboard or handouts, and really transform that into hands-on work.”
What isn’t mentioned is that such approach has been the purpose of science labs for years. The difference now, is turning much of instruction–including math classes– into one big science lab. Sure it was exciting when I took high school physics and saw how the trig I was learning in pre-calc was used to solve actual problems. But the textbook problems (disparagingly referred to as the dreaded “whiteboard” or “handouts”) prepared me for doing that.
One of the differences of PBL implementation now is using the lab or “project” as the means as well as motivation to learn what should have been prior knowledge. “Just in time” learning has its place when done right–I’ve seen it done right and have done it myself– but I’ve also seen it implemented in a fashion akin to throwing a kid in the deep end of a swimming pool and shouting out instructions to swim from the side of the pool. If by some miracle the kid makes it to the other side, the kid will say “I don’t know how I did that but I sure don’t want to do that again.”
Which, I don’t think, is the result these people are after, but there you are.