Member Spotlight: Harry Blyleven – Project Based Learning

Member Spotlight: Harry Blyleven – Project Based Learning

Posted by Edifide Office, Category: Member Spotlight,
The Authentic Tasks and Nature Honour Students

Upon completing a business and physical education degree from Redeemer College, I attended Lakehead University for my education degree. In my almost 20 years of teaching, (a year and a half with the former Haldimand Board of Education and 19 years at Hamilton District Christian High), it has been challenging, eye opening, and rewarding to work with students and other teachers as together we refine the craft of teaching. At HDCH, the subjects that I most often teach are computer technology, computer programming, and math. These are engaging subjects for me to teach since they are continually changing as new tools, resources, and curriculum are constantly produced.

It is exciting for me to see how learning, for both the student and the teacher-learner is ever changing and developing. One thing that I appreciate most about working in and with Christian schools and Edifide is that these organizations have excellent professionals who reflect upon how to better understand, help, and care for students in a learning context. Our schools have the opportunity to be proactive in terms of how quickly we can respond to educational trends and changes that improve student learning. Project Based Learning (PBL) is one such change that many of our schools are having conversations about. This is an exciting form of instruction for me, and I have had several incredible professional development opportunities by adopting this model. I have been able to connect with educators from around the globe through attendance at the PBL World conferences in 2012 and 2013, through social media, and through workshops that I have participated in. I have also spent much time researching, implementing, coaching, and reflecting on PBL through my classroom work and as I complete my Masters of Education at Lakehead University.

In my career, PBL has been the teaching method that I most enjoy using and the one through which I feel I am best able to truly help my students learn. The authentic tasks and the nature of projects honour my students with learning experiences that are meaningful and productive. By using PBL, my students are better able to demonstrate and show me what they love to do.

In our classrooms and in our personal learning we are not alone. Learning is a result of community and the important people around us. My wife, Kim, and my son, Tae, have been incredibly encouraging and supportive as I continue my journey in education. It is my hope that I can model their support in my instruction.