Imagine you ask your child the familiar question, “What did you learn today in school?” After a couple of mumbles and the common, “I don’t remember”, they finally respond by saying, “Oh…we’re doing a PBL.” As a parent, that may lead to more questions than answers. Therefore, allow us to guide you in taking a deeper look into Project-Based Learning (PBL).
As we prepare students for life after school, and for jobs that do not exist, we want to employ strategies that will ensure students have the skills they need to be successful in their future careers. In our job market, employers look for applicants who exhibit the following:
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skills
- Creativity Skills
- Collaboration Skills
- Communication Skills
These new job skills have been termed the “4 C’s” of Education. Our desire is to provide learning experiences where students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts.
In a traditional classroom, students demonstrate their knowledge at the end of the unit by completing a project. PBL is an act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. In a PBL classroom, students demonstrate their knowledge as they journey throughout the unit, not just at the end.
Traditional Projects vs. PBL Projects
Here is a program in CFBISD implementing PBL wonderfully: METSA
What additional questions do you have about Project Based Learning? Ask your questions in the comment section below.
Written by Josh Curry