A Perfectionist Procrastinating a Prototype Project

Well, here I am, yet again overwhelmed with what to do for a project. I read an article describing how perfectionists are usually procrastinators because we tend to fear not completing something perfectly, so we put it off as long as possible.

The thinker, courtesy of darwin Bell (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Anyone else? Anyway, I think that happens to me every time I have a major project where I have a lot of creative control. I want to do so many things my brain is like, “Hey, girl. We are overloading with ideas and information right now. How about some sleep?” I usually listen to it, and, alas, a day goes by with getting nothing done. Repeat cycle.

 

The curriculum I am doing this project for is probably one of the classes I have actively avoided making a blended learning platform for: Social Studies 30. As my partner, Elizabeth, states (more eloquently than I could, if I might add) in her blog post: 

“we both wanted to collaborate on a course, and this collaboration was more important to us than our first choice in curriculum.”

I do not want to turn down an opportunity to work with another teacher to create a blended learning space. I think it is going to be a real challenge to create an engaging Social Studies 30 curriculum in a blended environment; this is partially due to the fact it’s from 1997 and the document is over 300 pages. Collaboration will hopefully give us the power to persevere!  Despite the curriculum being outdated and difficult to translate into an online experience, it is one of my favourite subjects to teach. This semester was the first time I taught this course, but it provided an amazing opportunity to link historical context with current events.

Image result for past and future

Image retrieved from: ITU News

With every unit, I had at least two current events that made students apply knowledge to what was going on today. We talked about Trudeau’s approval of pipelines, Brad Wall’s privatization of liquor stores, Indigenous issues post-contact, racism, Canadian laws, healthcare, etc. I think one of the key pieces for engaging youth in Social Studies is showing them how our history is has shaped the present and will continue to shape the future. I try and avoid being asked, “why are we learning about this? It happened so long ago.”

Sounds like I’ve pretty much mastered it, right? Well, I hate to take a word from Trump’s dictionary but….. “WRONG!” This course allows a lot of opportunity for students to interact and collaborate to gain a further understanding of Canadian history. I can safely say that my classroom didn’t have too many simulations (*cough zero*) going on this semester. I also didn’t have students collaborate with each other as much as I would have liked. Elizabeth (my partner in the project) discusses how beneficial simulations can be in Social Studies classes, so I am excited to work with her and learn how to make my class a bit more interactive!

So what are my goals for my project? Great question, and something I am still working out in my perfectionist-ee brain. I really want to focus on creating an online platform where students engage in an inquiry-based project, connecting past events and laws to the present. The unit I am going to do for my project is Unit Two: Economic Development. Sound riveting, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the goal. Let’s make students engage in economic systems. Let’s foster discussion and questions around why Canada’s economy is dynamic and evolving. Let’s create a connection to these economic systems and relationships between provinces, language, and Indigenous post-contact relationships.

Image result for open education

Image retrieved from: theconversation.com

As far as the blended learning part goes, I usually use Moodle to create blended classes (I have a few classes blended already). However, I want to go out of my comfort zone. I think this may take the form of a WordPress blog, as I like the way you can organize documents and it encourages open education. Or perhaps a mixture of Google+ Communities and Google Classroom is the golden ticket. I don’t exactly know how to make the module intuitive and fluid for students, but that will be a priority for whichever platform I decide to use.

Do any of you have suggestions for where to create a blended learning space for this type of module? Or further ideas in regards to the content of my course?

Cheers to breaking the procrastination cycle!

  • Koskie Out!

 

12 thoughts on “A Perfectionist Procrastinating a Prototype Project

  1. I love all your ideas Katherine! I can’t wait to work together – I think the inquiry-based project is a really great, engaging idea, and the incorporation of current events really brings out the value of Social Studies. Looking forward to this project together!

  2. The High school social sciences really are awful! The listed resources are not even in print anymore! I will be excited to see what you come up with, and look forward to sharing some ideas with the social studies teacher in our school when he is looking for ideas and resources!

  3. Katherine, I really appreciated the time you took to find photos that fit your article perfectly. I am also a member of the procrastinator club! So I totally understand where you are coming from! I am interested to see how you will approach the topics through a blended course!

    • Hey, thank you! It always takes me way too long to find pictures, but I love when you find one that fits perfectly. Procrastinator club is not my favourite club to be a part of, but I don’t see it changes anytime soon.

  4. I love that there are a few projects that are Social Studies based as I think it is the subject in most need of a face lift. I can’t wait to see what you come up with, you have some great ideas!

  5. I’m ALL about alliteration, so your catchy title reeled me in :) I can also relate to your ‘perfectionism / procrastination’ challenges …. I’ve been experiencing those since middle school (a LONG time ago) and now see those tendencies in one of my children. I’ve found that jotting ideas down with a pencil (on paper) feels very “non-committal” and relieves some of the anxiety that I used to feel about getting things “just perfect” the first time around. Regarding your project plans (** you’ve picked a great partner in that Liz girl!!) … bringing a very dated course “up-to-date” does sound daunting; however, I like where your thoughts are on this! Young people NEED to understand the economy of this country in order to be informed voters and productive citizens. I, too, lack in simulations and collaboration in my classrooms … fear of losing control? Not meeting objectives? Difficulty in assessing?? All of the above! I look forward to reading more about your plans. Good luck!

  6. Pingback: Hey! Can you just look UP for a second? | Just Breathe

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