as Project is a learner-centered, problem solving educational experience
analytical, creative and practical
thinking as it integrates both content and skills. It recognizes
the need for establishing
background knowledge, linking learning to the experiences, personal
growth and skills encountered in many different areas of our lives.
The Learning Projects in each content area use inquiry and skill-based
this program, adult learners not only come to understand the scope
and complexity of the GED exam, which is more involved than they
anticipate, they also begin to develop the skills necessary to achieve
academic success. The unifying thread, or project they undertake,
is passing the GED.
as Project will introduce instructional approaches, strategies and
activities that integrate, not separate, the higher order thinking
skills that transcend the five subject areas of the GED 2002, using
inquiry based, problem centered projects derived directly from Official
GED Practice Test items.
the test, workplace oriented documents and questions address life
skills and problem solving. This means that preparation for the
test must center on an understanding, application and analysis of
the content material, not just knowing the pertinent facts. The
instructional process utilized throughout is a five-step
Inquiry Process: asking questions, investigating the problem, seeking to
understand, sharing with others, and reflecting and evaluating.
Each step is essential not only to successful test taking but also
who have not graduated from high school may not be academically
inclined, but they have often become strong practical or creative
thinkers. Encouraging learners to use their creative and practical
thinking abilities, the Successful Intelligence model espoused by
Sternberg and Grigorenko (2001,) is one aspect of this approach;
another is developing the skills of reading, writing and mathematical
reasoning across the content areas.
learning engages students, centering on their discovering answers
for themselves, either individually or in groups. The facilitated
classroom creates opportunities for critical thinking and evaluation,
skills central to passing the GED 2002.
facilitator will ensure the classroom environment is non-threatening.
Students may need to be invited to take the risk of speaking up.
Even the arrangement of the room can increase the effectiveness
of group instruction.
good facilitator develops skills in asking questions. Particularly
useful are open-ended questions requiring more than a yes or no
answer. Wide-ranging classroom discussion should allow for speculation
and encourage many responses.
The inquiry process develops the learners' understanding, allowing
them to take apart the problem, discover the information they will
need and develop the skills from within the problem itself. Instruction
will spiral back to build up fundamental knowledge and reinforce
new learning. At times, the facilitator will recognize that direct
instruction is necessary to provide the information needed to keep
the process moving forward and will intervene.
facilitation, built on a solid process and effective professional
judgment, creates synergy within the class. Read More About Facilitation >>
Projects and the General Template
based learning recognizes the need for establishing background knowledge,
linking learning to personal growth and applying knowledge and skills
to different areas of our lives.
Learning Project will focus on a larger issue that requires multiple
Inquiry Activities to achieve. Each Inquiry Activity will pass through
five phases are referred to throughout as the General Template.
The Template for each content area will have specific applications
to the subject matter.
is the "deliberate use of many methods to gather evidence to
indicate that students are meeting standards" (Wiggins &
McTighe, 1998.) This means the instruction is designed with the
end-goal in mind, and projects and activities serve as assessments
for the instructor.
assessments, such as learning portfolios or individual action plans,
offer good insight into the students' progress. Instructors' observations,
whether formal or informal, will give them the information they
need about how well the students are progressing, or whether additional
information or time is needed.
students will have been tested upon placement into GED preparation
classes. The results of these standardized tests, along with item
analyses or diagnostics, can be useful in planning instruction.
GED classes have a wide array of levels and different styles
learning. Group work and the focus on the processes of thinking
and learning accommodate these differences, and can also prove
for students with learning disabilities. Read
More About Assessment >>
you implement GED as Project, you will find ways of managing
your classroom to make learning in this student-centered approach
easier. Many of these suggestions come from the Field Test instructors,
and we expect to gather more as we hear from more instructors.
the classroom to facilitate group work (See
a wide variety of resource information for research
a learning climate - asking why, finding threads through the content
areas, developing Learning Portfolios
your favorite teaching resources and take advantage of new ones
your participants on an ongoing basis
More About Classroom Management >>