The Projects Web Site

http://projectapproach.org

Sylvia C. Chard
University of Alberta, Canada

The Projects Web site http://projectapproach.org is designed to show successful project work. It provides teachers with a way to share a variety of projects carried out in preschool through middle level settings. On the Projects Web site we feature teachers' accounts of projects carried out in their classrooms. Graphics show topic webs, pictures of children actively engaged in projects, and samples of children's work.

A basic summary framework can be used to describe many different projects. On the Projects Web site each story is introduced through a summary based on the framework outlined in the book Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach, by Lilian G. Katz and Sylvia C. Chard (Ablex, 1989). On the Web site the reader is able to read a summary and then use hypertext links to pursue particular details, or to see how the teacher resolved certain dilemmas or contributed to the discussion of particular issues.

On the Projects Web site a reader is able to find the summary of a project he or she is interested in, learn more details about the parts of the project which are of most interest, locate a discussion of the structural features of a project, and read a discussion of particular issues affecting teachers using the Project Approach.

A sample project. In one section of the Web site there is a summary of the Cafeteria Project developed by the Child Study Centre of the University of Alberta Faculty of Education. The teachers and children studied the cafeteria in the Education Building. The summary provides an example of a project which has structural features which would be common to many other projects. Yet it also has some quite distinctive features.

Sharing ideas. Many teachers have expressed interest in learning what other teachers have experienced as they have learned to work this way with the children in their classrooms. By means of the Web site, readers can access a large amount of detailed information about projects. Through the hypertext links, readers can easily locate what they are most interested in and what is most personally relevant to them.

An invitation. This Web site is added to regularly as more stories are submitted for inclusion. Like all good World Wide Web sites, this site is always "under construction." This enhances its value and ensures that it remains responsive to teachers' current concerns. Instructions are provided on the Web site for sending material to the editor. By sending in accounts of their own teaching, site visitors can become contributing members of an extensive network of teachers with similar interests and concerns.

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