Project Based Learning

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.

3 thoughts on “Project Based Learning

  1. I agree with you that not every school assignment can be taught with Project Based Learning, but can be used more in certain areas. Not only will PBL benefit students in learning the subject they are being taught, it will also set students up for success as they progress through school.

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  2. Joelle,
    Those biomes projects sound super cool specially as they are something that requires a lot of attention and in depth research for each specific one. I would have loved this, as I really enjoy nature… it gives me a sense of peace. I absolutely believe PBL it is an excellent way to interest kid’s learning and teach them in a more meaningful way where they can learn why and how things work and why they are important. I didn’t know this but after our reading for this week I found out there are so many ‘flavors’ (types) of PBL that it can become hard to implement it in the classrooms, making it confusing. Continuing to say that there needs to be a way to resolve this by presenting two initiatives to come up with an agreement of what exactly should be the characteristics of PBL. One was focused on the student experience while, the other on the teacher being able to plan effective learning experiences for the students. Either way PBL is needed in today’s classrooms.

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  3. Joelle the biome project seems really cool. I had a teacher in Jr. High who did a similar type of thing with different courses of study and it really made whatever topic we were on come to life. I do agree with your last statement that PBL is so amazing and should be used, however, it definitely needs to be used strategically. Also when doing projects in the classroom it is so important that it is strategically used and they incorporate all of the things you mentioned. The problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration are so important for students to learn today.

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