Thanks for posting this very interesting thread, and for the link to the resources. It’s a definite area of weakness in my teaching of the subject, I think because it’s one that lends itself the most to independent investigation which isn’t an area I’ve really concentrated on. In addition, in the early post the original inquiry seemed to include an “Imagine you’re the CEO” element which doesn’t seem to be mentioned later on – perhaps it was dropped? I wondered about what value that added. Similarly, I think I agree with your and Joe’s analysis of the end task involving made-up PGs, making leaflets etc.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a bit sceptical of end products that don’t obviously benefit the learning. For example, I often wonder about the point of “Make a newspaper front page about X”. For me, unless it is part of learning about journalese, the newspaper element is just a distraction. It leads to more thought about punchy headlines, alliteration and “See our amazing feature on Love Island on [the non-existent] page three!” than about whatever it was they were actually supposed to be learning. This is why I’m so interested in FOSIL, which seems to me be an excellent and noble exploration into how to marry to joy of discovery with some rigorous scholarship and due respect for content.
One more question. In Urban Myths About Learning and Education, Bruyckere, Herschel and Hulshof state that research shows problem-based learning (which I assume this is) “is not really suitable for acquiring new knowledge” (p56). They say this is because it tends to overload working memory. They go on to add that it can, however, give great value where used to apply existing knowledge. If I read your resources correctly, there seems a chance that you are trying to do the acquisition at the same time as solve the problem, which would run counter to the research quoted in the book. How would you refute this? (My contact with Jenny and Darryl thus far suggests you will have thought hard about it!)