Team-based Learning (“TBL”) for K-12

Traditionally, most educators using TBL have been in higher education.  However, there is a greater number of K-12 educators interested in TBL.  This piece will focus on TBL in K-12 settings and describe examples of who is teaching with TBL in K-12, what they are teaching and how it is being done.

Who is teaching with TBL in K-12 and what are they teaching

Chris Chee from Spectra Secondary school uses TBL to teach basic mathematics.  His students are 12 to 14 years old and considered in the bottom 10% of students academically in Singapore’s education system.  We are aware of several primary school educators using TBL to teach geography to 8 to 10-year-old students.  We are also aware of high school educators at an international school in Korea and Raffles Girls School in Singapore using TBL to teach Chemistry.

Three of the five polytechnics in Singapore are using or piloting TBL (Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic).  These students are 16 to 19 years old.  In Singapore’s education system, many of these students are expected to directly enter the workforce rather than continue on to university.  The polytechnics are using TBL in a wide range of fields including accounting, health sciences and a range of technical fields.

How to use TBL in K-12

The K-12 TBL implementations we are aware of generally follow the same process as TBL in higher education.  However, one issue that has come up is preparing students to work in a team.  Some K-12 students may not have experience in working in teams so they may benefit from guidance on how to work as a team.

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