How can schools implement Project-Based Learning (PBL)?
Project-based learning or PBL is the new curriculum for today’s education. It caters to 21st Century learners to become equipped with life and career-ready skills. Unlike the traditional learning method, PBL prepares students for the real-life application of learning, making it a more effective and useful approach today. However, many schools still stick to old-school passive learning and teaching methods. So, to give you a background here’s a guide that will teach you what PBL is, how important it is today, and how schools can include PBL to maintain high learning outcomes.
What is Project-Based Learning (PBL)?
Project-Based Learning is an improved teaching and learning approach to the traditional curriculum. It addresses both fundamental skills and 21st Century skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, computational thinking,analysis of data, researching, innovating, and utilising high-tech tools. Along with these skills, PBL never left behind fundamental skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic. PBL still offers a very different approach from traditional learning as the old curriculum only focuses on teachers as the head of the classroom. Would you like your child to sit in the room and listen to the teacher the whole time? Conversely, PBL gives chances for students to learn and discover things independently. Regarding this, learners are earning more life skills that prepare them for the right and responsible disciplines both in work and in life. So, how can schools quickly adapt to PBL in their classrooms even if they are accustomed to the old curriculum? Check out the ways to implement this new learning method immediately.
Steps to Implementing PBL
#1 Formulate an Essential Question
Teachers should start by creating an open-ended question that would engage the learners. You should use a tricky query making students more curious and excited to find out the answers. It allows learners to investigate and perform their strategies to answer the question. Take note that teachers should include a question that is relevant to children’s lives.
#2 Draft a Plan for the Project
As you design the plan for the project, you may include your students. Why? It will help them see the process of drafting techniques and blueprints, making them more prepared for any assigned tasks. Besides, your learners will become part of the decision-making process which will help them practice this skill effectively. Throughout the drafting process, your students will understand the whole process as they delve deeper into the issues that might arise. So, they are more particular and prepared for any outcomes.
#3 Devise a Schedule
In PBL, teachers must build a timeline that would see the plausibility of the plan. It will determine if your students already accomplish a task or they are having difficulty finishing it. Teachers may also notice that assigning projects to students is not as simple as lecturing. In this activity, the student’s learning phases are necessary to consider. As a result, the whole project would be very sensible. Moreover, PBL teachers would also check if the schedule is realistic and if the benchmarking is achievable. To achieve these goals and standards, teachers must adjust the whole timetable.
#4 Monitor the Students and the Progress of the Project
Teachers are not the primary source of learning during PBL. Even though teachers are not the main highlight in the classroom, they are still the facilitators of learning. So, teachers should also take responsibility for the student’s activities. How? The teachers should teach the students and remind them how to work together with other learners. Through this, students would learn how to interact with others and see how to take responsibility for the task. Other than that, learners would be able to work independently or work in partners or groups. During the activity and class challenges, students still need reminders to hone their personality development. So, the teachers as facilitators are responsible for teaching good manners and their students’ right conduct. Providing resources and guidance would make their students more mature and prepared for any career track. Another way to monitor the students is through project rubrics. It would validate the students’ ability to accomplish all the tasks. PBL is not just about paper-test exams to prove the child’s memorised concepts and ideas. PBL observes and monitors the students’ competencies in the tasks’ successes.
#5 Assess the Results
The next step for PBL is through assessments. After the teachers checked the student’s projects, they are now about to give feedback. The diagnostic feedback will include appreciation and constructive criticism. In this case, students will receive an evaluation of their performances. It will also help them see the things they need to improve. Furthermore, students would see their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to enhance their skills further. In PBL, scores like A+ or F are not the primary basis. Students will receive student assessments and teacher assessments that would not judge the learners. Instead, it will help them understand the ways of upgrading their skills.
#6 Evaluate the Experience
The last part of the PBL implementation is the evaluation of the whole project. In this step, learners would synthesise the reminders and assessments given by the teacher. They may reflect on these things and share their feelings and experiences. They could also raise new questions to innovate more things. Most importantly, students may apply new things they have learned and use them in real-life situations. You see, PBL is not as simple as the old curriculum. This learning approach involves more of the learners rather than the teachers. It even caters to more activities and projects that would excite the students to discover. Other than that, learners are encouraged to build and perform things independently, preparing them to become independent, confident, and responsible individuals. As a result, they would become globally competitive people raised in a 21st Century classroom.
How can my school include PBL immediately?
You may implement PBL in your schools as school administrators and teachers follow the mentioned steps. However, a faster way is to welcome schools and educational programs that have project-based learning approaches. Skill Samurai is a kids coding school that offers after-school care programs. It brings project-based learning approaches to train children for career-ready skills. So, they are ready to face the reality of the world. At Skill Samurai, they aim to teach students using hands-on challenges and projects including kids coding classes, robotics classes for kids, maths tutoring, and even STEM challenges. Add Skill Samurai curriculum to your school programs. Get started by calling an educational specialist to verify the curriculum suitable for your schools.
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