Have you heard about project-based learning? Edutopia defines it as “a dynamic classroom approach in which students explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.” This innovative methodology encourages students to think on their feet and collaborate to produce projects that present what they learned.
Sound intriguing? Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
It requires preparation. Project-based learning is student-led, but it requires a lot from you as the teacher. Projects you assign should be open-ended, but you must ensure that the problems or questions you have students work on are tied to content standards and establish clear learning goals.
You’ll achieve the best results when projects connect to the real world. Pose a complex question or challenge, and then let your students loose. Think of the project as something that might take place in the workplace. Your students must engage in critical thinking and communication and work together to come up with a solution.
It’s best to get students involved in the creation. Sam Houston State University’s Center for Project-Based Learning explains that students find projects to be “more meaningful if they play a creative role in the construction and planning” of them. Take on the role of facilitator. You’ll see your students transform.
Project-based learning puts students in positions where they apply classroom knowledge to their lives and the problems they will face in the real world. There are many resources out there to learn more, including Edutopia, Buck Institute for Education’s PBLWorks, and Sam Houston State University’s Center for Project-Based Learning, among others. Do your research and get started!