The Joy of Project Based Learning

Project based learning is a very good idea.  It is different from what many students experience in classrooms today because it can provide the students with a greater opportunity for choice than in many modern classrooms.  In many of these classrooms, the “chalkboard” style of teaching is still practiced.  By “chalkboard,” I mean that students come every day to class and sit through a lecture and then take a test on the notes that they had taken during the lecture.  The idea of project based learning is different because not only are the students doing their own research but also developing many skills that they will need in the future.  According to the video: “Project Based Learning: Explained,” there are three major aspects of project based learning.  The students are required to use critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.  All three of these aspects are important to develop for use in the work force later on in life.

Project based learning is very different from what I experienced as a student.  I have to admit that it is very hard to remember back to my K-12 education, but from what I remember my education was very much the “chalkboard” style.  We attended lectures every day with the occasional poster project or movie, followed by the unit or chapter test at the end of the week.  I can still remember how boring this was, and how little information I remember today.  In college it was much of the same, but what was really fun was taking all of the education classes and learning how project based learning can make any classroom fun.  I really do feel that it is important to implement project based learning in the classroom, because I feel that it not only provides the students with choice but also with the opportunity to develop skills that are not developed through taking notes or reading a textbook.  The subjects in the social sciences: psychology, sociology, geography, government, economics and history; always seem to be so dull and boring according to the students who take them.  I feel it is very important to make the subject matter come alive for the students and a great way to achieve this goal is through the use of project based learning.  Project based learning is a great way of both helping students to comprehend content and developing important life skills such as: critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.  By practicing all these skills, I feel that students will be able to find success in the classroom.

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2 thoughts on “The Joy of Project Based Learning

  1. I agree with you, Nathan, that we all grew up with the “chalkboard” style of teaching and retained very little. PBL can make the content come alive for the students which aides in the retention of the content while also building those critical collaboration skills.

  2. Pingback: Microfinance in Action | McCarthey Dressman Learning Network

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