We are commitment to PROJECT-BASED LEARNING (PBL)

What is Project Based Learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is an interdisciplinary approach to learning.  Students receive a hands-on experience as they create their own projects.  Often using processes such as design thinking or inquiry to question, plan, research, develop, improve and present their work. 

Project-based learning requires students to think and act the way professionals do in the modern workplace.  These projects demand skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and evaluation.  Student’s thrive in this type of environment.  Students are not motivated when they are doing work outside of purposeful context.  PBL can engage students with authentic learning experiences that have real applications.  

What does authentic PBL look like?

Successful PBL programs create a student-centered learning environment.  The teacher is a learner along with the students.  The teachers become facilitators rather than lecturers.  PBL programs succeed when they have the following qualities:

  • Student-Driven:  PBL requires that students lead the process, teachers must remain as facilitators.  Student choose the type of and process for their projects keeps them engaged.
  • Experiential:  Students don’t sit and listen, they get up and move.  They will experiment, build, design, analyze, interact, and immerse themselves.  There should a sense of controlled and purposeful chaos, but ultimately leading to productive solutions. 
  • Rigorous:  Like the real world, PBL has goals and deadlines.  Students are expected to do their best work on every project and at every stage.  It is a purposeful, playful, relevant learning environment that keep each student engaged. 
  • Authentic:  They should not be just performances for a grade.  PBL is authentic, when it connects to life outside the school. 
  • Assessed:  Educators need to show that students are not only learning content but also skills.  PBL allows for and requires both formative and summative assessments, as it is focused on the process and not only the final work product.  

Difference between doing Projects vs. PBL

Traditional classrooms assign projects.  Such projects work well in helping students learn content in an enjoyable way.  In such projects, the void is that students are engaged in only a portion of the process.  The teachers do the questioning, planning, and researching.  Teachers present the material to the students and then the students create something.  This model looks like the diagram above, students only experience a portion of the learning process.

In a project-based classroom, the students are involved from the very beginning.  Students are immersed in an experience that get them thinking and questioning.  Students work with their teacher to come up with a direction for their project, making a purposeful learning journey.  The teacher is a collaborator who helps students act on their thoughts.  Students not only learn content and concepts, they also acquire the skills and passions.  

It's time to get started! 

If you are ready to take your classrooms to a new level of engagement, rigor and relevance, PBL is perfect for you.  PBL is an pedagogical approach that can make student learning purposeful.  Such an approach allows students to acquire the 21st century skills that are often identified but unfortunately rarely inculcated or assessed.