What is Project Based Learning?

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student “voice and choice,” rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations. (Buck Institute for Education)

Because PBL is a rigorous approach to curriculum that requires students to “put it all together,” students must be able to work well both independently  and in a group.   The balance of  working well independently and in a group requires solid communication skills, the ability to be a self-starter, perseverance, and the motivation to take ownership of his or her learning at an age-appropriate level.

Why use PBL?

heptagon_redStudents gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. Projects also build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. PBL can motivate students who might otherwise find school boring or meaningless. (Buck Institute for Education)

Videos to help get a better idea of what this approach is like:
1. An Introduction to Project-Based Learning
In this hands-on approach to teaching, students create schoolwork that demonstrates core subject knowledge.

2. Five-Year-Olds Pilot Their Own Project-Based Learning
Student-driven class activities, enhanced by technology, launch kindergartners on a journey of lifelong learning.

3. Elementary Project: Kindergarten Harvest
Two kindergarten classes from Explorer Elementary learn how to grow and harvest vegetables with the help of a garden coordinator.

More ideas about learning at its best:

See what expert, Howard Gardner, has to say about learning. This interview has many powerful ideas and represents a lot of what we believe about learning.

What are other countries doing to produce high achieving students? How is project based learning involved?

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