Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying. A majority of todays classrooms focus primarily on one subject matter at a time.  With PBL a teacher is given a platform that allows them to develop cross-curriculum skills while having their students work in small or large collaborative groups. It inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying. Research also indicates that students are more likely to retain the knowledge gained through this approach far more readily than through traditional textbook-centered learning.

City of the Future: Show and Tell at Tam High

As a younger student my experience in the classroom was nothing like PBL.  My thought process was bound up by lots of “Chalk Talk” and endless amounts of memorization.  There was less creative thinking across the board and more mechanized repetitious instruction.  There were definitely plenty of creative outlets and opportunities, but subjects were mainly compartmentalized as was the thought process and approach to learning.

Building Earthquake "Life Safe" buildings

I love the idea of having PBL incorporated into my classroom.  I think passionate people are what keeps humanity and society moving forward in a positive light. The possible challenges are that students may not have had much exposure to this method of teaching.  Its quite possible that they will enter into a class assuming that the teacher will be the main distributor of knowledge. Teaching students to think freely when approaching their education could represent a great challenges and some students may have lost the ability to “simply wonder about something.”  Nevertheless, when a student is self motivated and passionate about his/her learning the teacher is allowed to become less of a manager and more of a guide. Additional advantages are developing self- confidence, learning self-direction, and learning to work with others. As a guide you can simply help the students discover how to answer their own questions.

 

Links:

Pros and cons to PBL :

http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/project-based-learning/

http://lucyface.wix.com/lucyfacewebasedinquiry

 

Moving beyond memoriztion:

http://neatoday.org/2014/11/25/deeper-learning-moving-students-beyond-memorization-2/

http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2012/09/17/high-school-students-need-to-think-not-memorize

 

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