‘Embedding problem-based learning practice to support successful transitions to employment and higher-level learning’ is a project Derby College are trialing from May 2019 to the end of next year, supported by the Edge Grant Fund.
The £80,000 grant is supporting the exploration of a problem-based learning approach through two curricula pathways, animal science and engineering, across levels 1 to 6. Derby College is partnering with Twycross zoo and local businesses to give students opportunities for work placements, tackle ‘real-world’ scenarios and gain experience helping to prepare them for the workplace.
The project allows for creativity, freedom and risk taking amongst curriculum design to encourage higher order thinking development for students and deeper employer engagement. The content is aligned to industry bringing learning to life and making it more relevant when it’s in context.
Students work on collaborative projects to test their teamwork skills and undertake independent study to help develop self-discipline and time management. Our ambition is for our students to not only have a mastery of their chosen subject, but the transferable skills, such as communication, resilience and problem-solving, to raise their aspirations and be industry ready.
We believe that employer engagement enriches learning for young people at all stages of their education, but at FE level it is especially critical as it brings students into contact with the most up-to-date technologies and practices in the industries.
One project at a time we see students’ confidence rise as presentations or pitching a project to a panel of judges becomes a breeze, and self-reflection becomes a daily habit. The grant has enabled us to move away from the traditional ‘teaching and learning in a classroom’ and put students in control of their own learning.