Tragedy of the Commons
Key Concepts & Knowledge
How does a freely-used public resource degrade over time, with increased use, possible abuse and its eventual inability to keep up with demand? How can we improve things?
Students learn how to structure a multi-week interdisciplinary study, working collaboratively in small teams, structuring and maintaining their work schedule, collecting data, interviewing stakeholders, evaluating math models, and presenting results – written and oral.
Sequence of Project Activities
- Prior to class, teacher reviews Video Teacher Guide and related background information.
- In class, students experience the full BLOSSOMS video lesson Tragedy of the Commons.
- Student teams are created (3 or 4 per team)
- Problem identification and scoping
- System observation and possible data collection
- Examination of the 4 different BLOSSOMS math models for this problem, and discussion of an appropriate one for the team’s problem. Decision.
- Interview stakeholders.
- Collect results, summary and conclusions
- Final oral presentation with submitted written report.
A Conversational Guide for the PBL Teacher
Read the guide here.
Questions and Answers
Read them here.