New teaching method is a success for Seaside schools

December 20, 2016
The way teachers instruct and students learn will soon look different throughout Monterey County.
 “All our students are becoming more confident. It used to be ‘fill-in the bubble, here, teacher,’ versus, ‘I have to make a product.I have to show myself off”,” said Seaside Middle School teacher Meghan Armfield-Webb.

Project-based learning is a method of teaching based around projects and real world experiences.

“We give them a driving question. We give them a project they need to accomplish and a timeline. And then, we fill in the gaps along the way,” said Armfield-Webb.

“The thing I like about project-based learning is that we get deeper into learning than we did last year,” said Seaside 8th grade student Efren.

“I enjoy this style because I get to interact with people I usually don’t. Not only teachers, but also students,” said Seaside 8th grade student Kaitlynn.

“When you look at the workforce, a lot of research has been done that they’re looking for workers that are problem solvers, critical thinkers, that they can speak orally,” said Seaside Middle School Principal Manny Munez.

Principal Munez said the transformation is incredible.

“It’s been really awesome. The engagement level has increased. Also the culture of our school is focused on learning, less discipline. They look like scholars,” said Munez.

Under the model, teachers now co-teach. Parts of project-based learning will eventually be integrated into the entire district.

“I think more schools could benefit from this. Again, it’s just taking that leap of faith. I think others would be really impressed with their students just like I am really impressed with mine,” said Armfield-Webb.

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