Sunday, July 12, 2015

Why Project-based Learning?

Project-based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered teaching method in which students gain knowledge and understanding by engaging in the investigation of real-world problems and challenges.  The teacher poses the problem/question and students work either independently or collaboratively to find a solution.  Just a real-world issues can be "messy" and often be resolved by varying means, so too can project-based lessons.     

PBL takes learning to an even deeper level of understanding not typical for 21st century students.  Today's students are entrenched in a routine of rote learning - memorizing information and processes simply to prepare and succeed on standardized tests.  Students learned what they needed to advance to the next level and then the process repeated itself.  There was little effort, engagement, and excitement occurring in the classroom.  Not so with PBL.

PBL begins with an open-ended question that frames the lesson.  The students then work to investigate or research the issue and construct a possible answer.  Students utilize technology to "communicate, collaborate, conduct research, analyze, create, and publish their own work for authentic audiences" (Boss, 2011).  Throughout the PBL, students are engaging in real world problem-solving, using all the tools that are necessary to succeed in today's work force. 

Teachers need to seek out opportunities to include PBL in their classroom whenever possible.  Creating PBLs is not an easy task, but professional development may help to guide and streamline the process.   Not only is PBL an engaging and exciting way for students to learn, but the best way to prepare them for success in future

Boss, S. (2011). Project Based Learning: A Short History. Edutopia.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried PBL in your classroom? If so, any tips for success?