What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?
You know what the most difficult aspect of teaching using project-based learning is? I’m trying to explain it to someone. Every time I asked someone for the definition of PBL, it seemed like the explanation was always so convoluted that my eyes began to glaze over very quickly. Consequently, in order to assist you in your own contemplations, I’ve created an elevator speech to help you properly understand what’s going on.
PBL: The Elevator Speech
When someone asks you for an elevator speech, you should be able to respond with one or two sentences in the time it takes to go from the first level to the second floor of an apartment building. I appreciate this graphic, and I use it with my students because getting to the point and condensing the idea of anything is critical in today’s society where speaking and writing are both required frequently.
I’d want to see that promotion towards the end of the newsletter.
So the elevator doors open, a man walks in, and out of nowhere, he asks, “What the hell is project-based learning, anyway?” I’m not sure why he would ask that, but for the purposes of this scenario, it appears that any ordinary Joe on the street would be thrilled by your response.
You react in the following manner: “PBL is defined as the process of learning by recognising a real-world problem and producing a solution to that problem. Children demonstrate what they have learned throughout the unit, rather than just at the end.”
“Is that all there is to it?” the man inquires.
“No, I don’t think so,” you respond. This is your floor, and we’re out of time.” “There’s more to it than that, but this is your floor, and we’re out of time.” He offers you a brief nod of appreciation and then walks away, leaving you to ruminate on all the depths of meaning that this word does not, in reality, convey.
A More Elaborate Response
Moreover, when we simply read at that definition, we can see that it does not mention some tendencies in PBL.
A Longer and More Explanatory Response
Consequently, now that it’s just you (the reader) and me again, let’s revise that definition to better truly describe the effectiveness of this learning strategy:
PBL is the process of continuously learning about a variety of things at the same time. To do this, students are guided to identify a real-world problem (from local to global) through research, construct a solution using evidence to support the claim, and present their answer utilising a multimedia approach that incorporates a variety of 21st-century resources.
As they progress through the unit, students demonstrate what they have learned by interacting with its lessons, collaborating with one another, and evaluating themselves and one another. They don’t only complete an exam or create a product at the conclusion of the course to demonstrate their understanding.
While this definition is closer to correct than the prior version, you recognise that it would have led his eyes to glaze over (as they may be doing right now), and you determine that the earlier definition is by far the more efficient form, even if it downplays the magnificence of the plan.
Because PBL is fantastic when it is applied by teachers who believe in its methods and are committed to them. Using problem-based learning (PBL) to educate is exciting, and your excitement in turn inspires excitement in your clients, the students.
PBL Creates a Learning Story
PBL results in the creation of a Learning Story.
In spite of this, it took some effort on my part to distract myself from the everyday drudgery of instructing with unrelated lessons. You understand what I’m talking about. What I’m referring to are the daily lessons that might teach a skill, and perhaps that skill is contained within a unit focused on a topic or a theme, but each lesson operates independently and can function without being included in a unit that weaves them all together in a learning tale.
However, I became disinterested, and I was anxious that my students would be as well.
The contrast between the atmosphere at Disneyland and the atmosphere at a Six Flags resort is the use of problem-based learning (PBL). No offence intended to Six Flags, as I enjoy a good roller coaster, but its décor might use some serious updating. From the moment you step into the queue for a ride in Disneyland, you are immersed in the tale of that ride. The walls, the ceiling, and the ground on which you walk as you make your way closer to the real ride all contribute to the final outcome.
The process of teaching with PBL is very similar. It presents teachings in the form of a story — a story about a problem that needs to be solved or an activity that needs to be created. The learning occurs as the team progresses through the process of presenting the solution.
After all, the purpose of employing PBL is not to write a state report. Making your own state requires you to use your knowledge of the state you are studying and then create your own state. Building a replica of the Washington Monument isn’t what this is about. It involves researching someone to honour, creating your own monument, and persuading a committee to fund the construction of your monument.
Project-based learning is often built on the foundation of the following components:
- Scenarios from the real world
- Writing in a variety of genres
- Various reading genres are available.
- Assessments made in the real world
- Audiences who are true to themselves
- Expertise from the real world is brought into the classroom.
- Units that evaluate a variety of talents
- Units that necessitate extensive investigation and mastery of a variety of subjects
- Optional for students
There are a variety of communication methods (writing, oral speaking, visual presentations, publishing, etc.)
(A word of caution: don’t get too worked up about it.) You do not have to include each and every one of these features in order to refer to your unit as PBL. These are elements to strive for, not to sacrifice your life in order to obtain.)
Allow me to personify for a moment: PBL is committed to our purpose of educating all people everywhere. PBL never loses sight of the fact that one of our primary responsibilities is to prepare students for the foreseeable future. PBL understands that kids are not standardised, that they do not learn in a standardised fashion, and that our customers cannot be assessed in a standardised manner if we are to create creativity. PBL is committed to fostering innovation in all of its endeavours. PBL maintains its focus on the task at hand, regardless of the most recent popular standard or curriculum package.
PBL does not require you to replace your existing content. It necessitates the development of a vehicle for the dissemination of your material. The scenes that move each act toward the final curtain call are composed of the math, science, history, literature, or whatever else you teach in your PBL course.
The entire PBL unit is comprised of the learning story that you and your students collaborate on to construct. Be prepared, on the other hand. You’ll plan and frontload tons, but once you jump in, you’ll discover that when you hand over the writing of the learning story to your kids, they will take it far and above any book you’ve ever read.