As highlighted in the video on Project Based Learning, school today tends to be lectures, memorization and test, but with Project Based Learning, school can be more interesting, and PBL also teaches other skills needed to succeed. Skills that can be learned through PBL are problem solving and critical thinking. If you’re just memorizing facts for a test and then forgetting them, you’re not necessarily learning anything. If know how to problem solve and how to think critically than you have the tools to figure out any problem.
In the article “The Main Course, Not Dessert” they discuss Project based learning vs. projects, and I thought this was interesting because as a student I experienced both PBL and plain old projects. One instance that I remember was my 6th grade teacher who every year with her students changes her classroom into biomes. Using pvc pipes and sheets they separate out little room to have the different biomes. (Biomes are a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g. forest or tundra.) Students were required to work together to build their biomes, research their biome, decorate, find food that would go with their biomes, and each student would do a report on an animal from biome. Then once they were set up they would give tours to all the classes in the school. During the tour the students would present their biome, and talk about the different aspects of that biome, the climate, the animals, where that biome is located in the world. I looked forward to the biome presentation every year up until when I was finally in 6th grade.
I can definitely see the benefits of PBL. I remember all the projects that I did when I was a student, some that were better than others, but overall I feel like implementing this kind of teaching is beneficial. While you can’t have every aspect of school be project based learning, using it strategically can help students learning those important skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communicating.