Engage Your Learners in Relevant, Meaningful Projects

Using Design Thinking we will create a project-based learning task to revitalise your teaching practice and re-energise YOU the teacher.

14 teacher reviews total
1 course reviews total
1 class per week, for 1 week

Single Class Course

60 minutes

Class Duration

3-10 students

Class Size


Per Student

The world is ever-changing and the landscape of education requires learners to be problem solvers, collaborators and engage in challenging issues. Prepping learners for an exam is not what this session is about. Instead, we will explore how to take a ‘prescribed’ curriculum and turn it upside down to create meaningful learning experiences. We will use the key elements of DESIGN Thinking and connect them to project-based learning. Ideally, this process will work extremely with teachers from different content areas. These different viewpoints all have great contributions and collectively can practice what is being taught. The session will be highly interactive and require participation and a bit of ‘out of the box thinking.’ At the end of the session, you will have experienced Design Thinking and be given some takeaways that incorporate these elements with Project-Based Learning so that you can apply them to your own practice. After this taster session, you may decide that you want to go further with this practice and the teacher will be open to schedule subsequent sessions. Anyone is welcome to engage with this course. One does not have to be a teacher as the skills here will have an application to a lot of different settings.
Mara has over 25 years of experience in education and now 10 years of experience as a mom. Project-based learning has been her core approach to teaching and successfully lead a group of 80, 13-17-year-old learners all working on their own projects whilst managing their other core curricular topics. Combining PBL with Design Thinking is her approach to creating projects for her learners and most recently practised with her PGCE teacher trainees. Having read Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset and following High Tech High's Project-Based Curriculum mixed with some Big Picture school elements she helped facilitate meaningful learning experiences that encouraged joy and curiosity in her learners. She stays current with the research and is currently working on a new hybrid school model that can help inform others on how to stay sane and connected with their children.

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Mara Simmons, PhD

A Tinker in Education that Promotes Joy and Curiosity
14 teacher reviews total

About Me

Teaching is my life, my parents would say. In my young adult life I took great joy at creating explanations for things and sharing new knowledge with others. As I matured I learned that much of teaching is learning, listening and understanding others' perspectives and experiences and the combination of learning with my love for sharing knowledge helps define my approach in any course I teach.

I have been privileged with having a long and varied teaching career that includes teaching math, science, history, leadership and English to young students in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years in mostly low income, culturally diverse communities. In addition, I have served as a school head, director and school founder for 12 years and most recently was a program manager for teacher training in the UK where I shaped what teacher training can look like for the post 16 sector.

Choosing to teach online is a new venture for me and an opportunity for me to grow. I appreciate the in-person sessions and look forward to cultivating discussion and learner engagement. Also, I believe education should be about choice, and I love that here you choose what you want to study.

The subjects I will teach will be relevant to those wishing to improve their professional skills, whether it be working with others, ways of writing, or how to increase colleague engagement and enthusiasm. In addition, I hope to bring in some courses specifically for teachers and presenters around how to prepare lessons and how to increase student engagement and joy for learning. Lastly, I am interested in teaching about how to cope with remote learning and working as I have observed and at times struggled with these issues in the past and have found some useful strategies that have worked.

In my classes you will never be quiet for an entire session, nor have to listen to me lecturing - I am a believer in collaboration, discussion and facilitated learning. Problem-based, project-based learning is my approach in a school setting; here online we will have a version of it. At the end of each session, we will re-cap to make sure that you have left with a nugget of learning or provocation to go further along with some extra tools to be that value add.

1 Student reviews

Each Learned.Live teacher is awarded a 4 star review for every one of their courses we have approved, in line with our assessment. This is why some teachers will display more than one 4 star review from Learned.Live if they have had multiple courses rigorously assessed by our team. We would not approve a course application if we did not feel it warranted a default 4 star review. Teacher star ratings are an average of each of their courses star ratings and will become modified as more students review their course(s) over time.

March 5th, 8:50am
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