Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world in a problem-solving context. Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem. The teacher plays the role of facilitator, working with students to frame worthwhile questions, structuring meaningful tasks, coaching both knowledge development and social skills, and carefully assessing what students have learned from the experience. It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning. PBL contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization, or teacher-led instruction that simply presents established facts or portrays a smooth path to knowledge by instead posing questions, problems or scenarios.
1.2 Why we use PBL?
Project-based learning creates opportunities for groups of students to investigate meaningful questions that require them to gather information and think critically. Typical projects present a problem to solve (How can we reduce the pollution in the schoolyard pond?); a phenomenon to investigate (Why do you stay on your skateboard?); a model to design (Create a scale model of an ideal high school); or a decision to make (Should the school board vote to build a new school?).
1.3 My reflections on my teaching practice
I think this methodology would certainly fit to the the learning skills of today's generation of students. Project-Based Learning motivate students because it facilitates active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
1.4 COMPONENTS OF A GOOD PBL
PBL means different things to different people: Project Based Learning, Problem Based Learning, or even Passion Based Learning. The real purpose is the same: engage and inspire learners with hands-on, real-life learning. There are as many “right” ways to tackle this as there are different kinds of kids, but there are eight essentials that can start you on the right foot. Here are the basics and some simple ways to apply them. An important note: the eight essentials are different depending on age, ability, familiarity with project based learning, and what you want to get from the experience. Not all eight have to be included every day, all the time, to be a successful learning experience. PBL is not a projectProjects are not Project Based Learning. That’s a big misconception. PBL units are cross-curricular units of study that draw on many skills, are focused around standards, and seek to answer a problem or overarching questions. They are student-driven, giving lots of voice and choice to students to lead their learning and find solutions for themselves. You just can’t Google a project. (Well, ok, you can Google it and get some amazing resources, but students can’t solve the project that way, which is pretty great for learning!) Sometimes the essentials are combined and you’ll see a list for five or six, instead of eight, but I like the breakdown that listing them separately provides. The model for these eight come from bie.org, an excellent resource on all-things Project Based Learning. The 8 essentials of Project-Based Learning are: SIGNIFICANT CONTENT-NEED TO KNOW- DRIVING QUESTION-VOICE AND CHOICE-21st CENTURY SKILLS-IN-DEPH INQUIRY-REFLECTION AND REVISION-PUBLIC PRESENTATION
The 8 essentials are different depending on age, ability, familiarity with project based learning, and what you want to get from the experience. Not all eight have to be included every day, all the time, to be a successful learning experience.
A solid PBL places equal emphasis on significant content and 21st-century skills. A “content light” project that is fun for students is not worth the time and energy that goes into its completion. Determine the significant content and where the natural curricular connections between the standards and even units occur. Let this be the basis for the creation of your PBL experience. Then, determine how you will promote critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity in the experience. In “Code Maroon,” sixth-graders in Cindy Coones’ classroom read “The Cay,” while seventh-graders in Jody Velde’s classroom read “The Blizzard of 1887.” These pieces of literature and the final project plan focused on the TEKS related to researching, synthesizing, organizing, presenting, listening and teamwork. Students met during “working lunches” to discuss the books and their ideas for implementing a natural disaster plan for the town of White Oak. Students used critical thinking skills to identify the lessons of survival learned from the participants in the novels, and then they applied those lessons to scenarios set in the present day and in their own hometown. In addition to the working lunches, students also shared information via Google Docs and Edmodo, in a truly technology-rich PBL unit.
1.5 DRIVING QUESTION
According to M i c h a e l G o r m a n, The Driving Question in Project Based learning is often the hardest concept to get across to teachers. Perhaps because teachers have been taught to use so much of their “educationese language” . Educators are so often told to practice this methodology, but are seldom told how to do it.
Driving questions pose simply stated real world dilemmas. They pose predicaments that students find interesting and actually want to answer. The question drives students to discuss, inquire, and investigate the topic. It should push them toward a production or solution. In the process of investigating the question and sharing their answers, students learn important content and skills.