Girls Building Robot

What is Project-based Learning?

"Project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge."

- Edutopia

What is PBL and how to start implementing it?

In a nutshell, Project Based Learning is about students learning through the process of finding solutions to driving questions and real-world problems. The project does not occur after instruction, but instruction occurs throughout the project. Today’s world could not function without interdisciplinary teams collaborating on projects, whether it is building a house, designing a new video game, or getting vegetables to the grocery store for us to buy.

At the centre of PBLs are the 21st century competencies: problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. However, this concept of “learning by doing” dates back to Confucius and Aristoteles. In recent years, this process of having students do the research, inquire, and come up with possible solutions to real-life problems or open-ended questions has found its way back to the classroom.

 

So, what does a PBL look like?

 

1. The teacher launches the project through an “entry event” that catches the students’ attention.

  • Interesting and relevant video

  • Guest speaker

  • Class discussion

  • Field trip

2. Driving question is presented, it should be:

  • Open-ended

  • Interesting

  • Drives inquiry

  • Encompasses the problem or challenge

 

3. Students research, have conferences with teachers or experts, and build knowledge and skills to answer the driving question.

 

4. Students develop and revise products and answers to the driving question.

  • It is important to foster ownership of learning through choice, students choose what type of product to present

  • Students choose the process through which they answer the driving question

  • Students choose how time is use

  • It is also important to note the age of students and their experience with PBLs when deciding how much guidance students need

  • Feedback should be continuously given and received by students

 

 

What should a good PBL include?

 

PBLworks published really interesting golden standards for the creation of high-quality PBL. Check them out by clicking on this link: https://www.pblworks.org/what-is-pbl

 

Student voice and choice is a golden standard for PBLs, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide as much guidance, support and instruction as needed, especially with younger students and learners that are new to this approach. A common misconception is that PBLs do not require teacher intervention, but teachers should be there to guide and support students during the entire process.

 

 

Where do I start?

Here are a few templates

to help you get started:

On a Field Trip
Cute Girl
Teacher Assisting a Student
Student Presentation