Friday, March 03, 2006

PBI: What is it?

Place-Based Inquiry (PBI) is the natural child of Place-Based Education, Inquiry-Based Learning, Design-Based Learning, and Project-Based learning. Are you sensing a pattern here? I argue that playing and redesigning Augmented Reality Games wraps all of these up nicely with a bow.
  • It's situated in a specific culturally-rich place
  • it is collaborative and sociocultural in both the playing and design elements
  • if it is a well-designed game, players are engaged in rich inquiry in the process of play; if it's not well-designed, players are motivated by the outdoor adventure elements of it, and the opportunity to design a compelling "high-tech" game for their peers
  • etc.
I suppose I need to get my head around these areas and write up a brief summary of how PBI ARG relates to each.

Place-Based Education: One definition here. An excerpt:
Place-based education is learning that is rooted in what is local -- the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature and art of a particular place. The community provides the context for learning, student work focuses on community needs and interests, and community members serve as resources and partners in every aspect of teaching and learning.

Place-based education has been shown to improve comprehension, attendance, behavior, and enthusiasm for learning in students and increase creativity, involvement and energy in teachers.
There's a great quote there too: "Authentic environmental commitment emerges out of firsthand experiences with real places on a small, manageable scale [over time]. — David Sobel"

Inquiry-Based Learning There's a really clear description (examples, etc) here. An excerpt:
An important outcome of inquiry should be useful knowledge about the natural and human-designed worlds. How are these worlds organized? How do they change? How do they interrelate? And how do we communicate about, within, and across these worlds? These broad concepts contain important issues and questions that individuals will face throughout their lives. Also, these concepts can help organize the content of the school curriculum to provide a relevant and cumulative framework for effective learning. An appropriate education should provide individuals with different ways of viewing the world, communicating about it, and successfully coping with the questions and issues of daily living.
It is closely related to the next two -- project-based learning and design-based learning.

Project-Based Learning: Closely related to IBL, PBL basically suggests that the Inquiry be bounded into a well-defined project (also similar to problem-based learning). Descriptions of each and their overlap here. An excerpt:
Project-based learning, problem-based learning, and inquiry-based learning all three closely relate to the information processing approach. They all fit well with technology-rich learning environments where the focus is not on the hardware and software, but on the learning experience. In each case, technology is used to facilitate learning.
Given a question to answer, problem to solve, or project to undertake, compelling motivation and resources to do so, and help along the way from peers and "experts" (broadle defined), people will tend to undertake --

Design-based learning: which is discussed some here. An excerpt:
Increasingly, innovative teachers explore with their students the modes of inquiry used by graphic designers, product designers, interior designers, urban planners, landscape architects, and architects. They also examine content related to the everyday artifacts and environments of various cultures, along with processes for making decisions about visual communication, consumer products, and the built (manmade) environment. Finally, these teachers employ active learning experiences that model the cognitive and social problem-solving demands of adult life. Design-based learning offers genuine promise for preparing students to be thinking, informed citizens who can shape progress in the next century. And, for children, design experiences are intriguing puzzles through which learning comes alive.

All of these relate. What my research does is frame a learning experience in a place-based adventure game, and allow the players to reflect on it and redesign it in a way that poses and communicates clearly to their peers (the next set of players) a new game of problems. Thus continuing a cycle of peer-approved (and relevant) learning.

This is hard for me to describe in words. I have all sorts of visuals in my head that I want to use...


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