The Jannali High School

The place to succeed

Telephone02 9521 2805

Emailjannali-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Challenge-based learning

Meeting the Needs of our gifted students at TJHS

Challenge based learning (CBL) is a student centred mode of inquiry which starts with the formulation of a big idea. This learning, unlike traditional learning, asks the student to apply their research to a real world connection and to act upon it.

The brainchild of Apple US it has four aims:

  • to use technology to leverage learning
  • to utilise the project management process to prepare students for the workplace
  • develop collaborative skills and hone abilities to meet deadlines
  • to build capacity to apply knowledge to the real world as agents of change.

The CBL process ideally targets our gifted students, requiring focus, self-motivation and disciplined time management skills, encouraging them to be active rather than passive learners.

At TJHS a further challenge is added in that the 'big idea' is a cross-curricular idea drawing on themes across different KLA’S.

Two things happen. First, young people are encouraged to integrate learning experiences into their schemes of meaning so as to broaden and deepen their understanding of themselves and their world. Second, they are engaged in seeking, acquiring, and using knowledge in an organic – not an artificial – way.’ (Beane, 1995)

In 2017 Year 8 English, Science and Geography students were challenged with the 'Big Idea of Sustainability'. In 2018 two CBL projects are being run with 'Gender and Power' for Year 8 English and History. In Year 9 a STEM project has focused on 'Astrophysics: How can our understanding of light ensure the survival of humanity?'

Last Wednesday evening, 14 November, the students of 9SC.1 presented their learning about Astrophysics and their response to the following challenge to a parent body and some special guests from the Astronomical Society.

“Create an effective presentation to communicate to a real world audience how scientists use light to learn about the nature and evolution of the universe which can assist them to find solutions to the identified problems that Earth’s limited resources and finite existence presents to the future of survival of humanity.”

A big congratulations to Mr Hannon’s 9SC.1 students for an impressive learning exhibition of a difficult topic – Astrophysics.