This course uses projects as the learning method, and using projects to learn builds the skills students need for success in learning, work and civic life in the 21st century. It consists of the application of proven project management principles and practices to educational practice based upon the knowledge and expertise accumulated by the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation.
At Sterling High School, this course is specifically blended with English III, as pioneered and developed by Todd Vogts. Vogts wrote the curriculum for this blended course, which is the melding of a CTE course with a non-CTE course. This curriculum is being adopted across the state. The latest version of the curriculum can be found here: link.
The curriculum for this course should not be viewed so narrowly as to assume it can only be used with English III. The applications of this course are much more versatile than that. It teaches invaluable skills students will need in all aspects of life. It introduces the Project Cycle. It then covers how to get the most learning value out of each phase of the Project Cycle, what roles team members of a learning project often play, and the types of organizing and evaluation tools that help projects be successful.
The essential skills this course teachers include the following:
- Recognize different resource types (Work, Material, Cost, Budget, Personnel/Skills, Generic, etc)
- Understand the concept of scope and demonstrate in context of assessing the size of a project
- Develop plans for project management and resource scheduling
- Identify key personnel and responsibilities for project
- Develop SWOT analysis
- Analyze workload of tasks and projects
- Determine required personnel groups and management hierarchy
- Determine resources necessary for project completion
- Determine essential tasks necessary for project completion
- Design potential timelines for assignments
- Explore appropriate technologies for project management and resource scheduling
- Create and present a project management and resource scheduling plan
- Create Gantt charts
- Evaluate and assign resources to tasks
- Implement project management skills to design and complete a collaborative project
- Learn various survey strategies to track project progress
- Develop strategies for monitoring interconnected assignments
- Survey strategies for critical path scheduling
- Create strategies to manage project budgets
- Build survey analysis for customer satisfaction
In order to learn these skills, students will take part in specific projects. These projects are largely self-directed and independent, but elements of each type of project will be incorporated into other forms of course work.
Examples of these projects include, but are not limited to, the following (using the scope of the blended English III class):
- Independent Reading Projects
- Literary Analysis
- Argumentative Writing
- Research Project
- Special Topics in Literature
- Portfolio of Work
Throughout every step of each project, the teacher will be monitoring and controlling, which is to say he will be providing support and guidance. The goal of the course is to push students out of their comfort zones and give them control of their learning in a experimental setting. Undoubtedly they will experience successes and failures, and for those failures, it is incredibly important for the students to conduct such experiments in the controlled environment of the classroom where they have a safety net. Thought the work will be conducted as if in a real-world setting, the students can perform in a manner in which there is no dire consequence for a misstep.