Moving toward project based learning—part 1: the frustration

Quantum Progress blog reflects on the problem solving of the students during semester, who became excellent at creating, describing, exploring and solving problems; but wonders about the relevance of the problems.

Here was the culminating moment of my class, the final exam, and the student seemed to equate it with one giant pointless problem sandwich. Sure the problem was fun, but is there any meaning to this work? Does the student even have a basis to judge whether individual parts of the problem make physical sense? Where are the things I thought I cared about, like teaching students to put their physics to use to ask questions about the world around them, and to critically evaluate the answers they find? These failings do not belong to this student—they belong to me

In full