Smart Blog on Education
I spend a good chunk of time on Twitter, often participating in or lurking on a Twitter chat. I have seen project based learning — PBL — a topic of discussion, but at the same time, I see a lot of claims about PBL that are just not true. What bothers me about these claims is not that they are wrong but that these misconceptions lead to further problems when implementing PBL. I’d like to take some time to dispel some of these misunderstandings in hopes that they clear up other issues teachers may have with PBL.
| By Katrina Schwartz
The term “project-based learning” gets tossed around a lot in discussions about how to connect students to what they’re learning. Teachers might add projects meant to illustrate what students have learned, but may not realize what they’re doing is actually called “project-oriented learning.” And it’s quite different from project-based learning, according to eighth grade Humanities teacher Azul Terronez. (Click here to continue reading)
Project-based classes focus on hands-on learning
When Students Do the Teaching
Not every teacher gets to hear these words: the process of making "this video gave me a better understanding of how teacher’s teach, so when I am faced with a math problem that I don't understand I can break it down and teach it to myself." This quote came from a ninth-grade student at the culmination of the project. Continue Reading - Click Here
| By MindShift
As schools prepare to implement the Common Core State Standards, Lydia Dobyns, president of the nonprofit New Tech Network, offers some suggestions for helping teachers to turn the standards into engaging instruction. She points to Josh Hatala, a Rensselaer, N.Y., high-school social studies and language arts teacher, who used project-based learning on an American history assignment to encourage students to think critically, remain engaged, improve collaboration and information literacy skills that are part of the common core.
Project-based learning, or PBL, is the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence (not to be confused with problem-based learning). Students use technology and inquiry to respond to a complex issue, problem or challenge. PBL focuses on student-centered inquiry and group learning with the teacher acting as a facilitator.
Project-based learning (PBL) provides complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that include teacher facilitation, but not direction. Project Based Learning is focused on questions that drive students to encounter the central concepts and principles of a subject hands-on.
With Project-based learning students learn from these experiences and take them into account and apply them to their lives in the real world. PBL is a different teaching technique that promotes and practices new learning habits. The students have to think in original ways to come up with the solutions to these real world problems. It helps with their creative thinking skills by showing that there are many ways to solve a problem.
Important characteristics of project-based learning include the following:
Problem-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems (not to be confused with project-based learning). Working in groups, students identify what they already know, what they need to know, and how and where to access new information that may lead to resolution of the problem.
The role of the instructor (known as the tutor in PBL) is that of facilitator of learning who provides appropriate scaffolding and support of the process, modeling of the process, and monitoring the learning. The tutor must build students confidence to take on the problem, encourage the student, while also stretching their understanding.
PBL was pioneered in the medical school program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in the late 1960's by Howard Barrows and his colleagues. The PBL curriculum was developed in order to stimulate the learners, assist the learners in seeing the relevance of learning to future roles, maintain a higher level of motivation towards learning, and to show the learners the importance of responsible, professional attitudes (Barrows, 1996).
Problem-Based Learning subsequently has been adopted by other medical school programs (Barrows, 1996), adapted for undergraduate instruction (Boud and Feletti, 1997; Duch et al., 2001; Amador et al., 2006) as well as elementary and high school (Barrows, 1996; Gasser, 2011). The use of PBL has expanded from its initial introduction into medical school programs to include education in the areas of other health sciences, math, law, education, economics, business, social studies, and engineering (Barrows 1996; Gasser, 2011). The use of PBL, like other student-centered pedagogies, has been motivated by recognition of the failures of traditional instruction (Wingspread, 1994; Boyer, 1998) and the emergence of deeper understandings of how people learn (National Research Council, 2000). Unlike traditional instruction, PBL actively engages the student in constructing knowledge. PBL includes problems that can be solved in many different ways and have more than one solution. A good problem is authentic, meets students level of prior knowledge, engages students in discussion, and is interesting.
The steps involved in problem-based learning include: