“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” This philosophy is part of the foundation of project-based learning that emphasizes learning by doing instead of the traditional learning by listening method of instruction. From kindergarten through higher education classes, an increasing number of schools are adopting project-based learning methods of teaching and adding them to their traditional curriculum programs. Students learn and practice questioning, inquiry, and critical thinking skills, all of which are crucial skills to develop as you engage in the world in increasingly complex ways.
Edutopia.org discusses the history of project-based learning (PBL) and show that it is nothing new to the world of education. Montessori schools introduced in the 20th century pioneered learning environments that fostered capable, adaptive citizens and problem solvers, and Jean Piaget, the Swiss developmental psychologist, based his social development theories on how we make meaning from our experiences at different ages.
In the modern PBL classroom, technology is the new study partner, and students use technology tools to communicate, collaborate, design and create much like seasoned professionals in the workplace. The old-fashioned book report, for instance, may have been replaced by an audio review of the book and an analysis of the discussion sparked by the book during a book club webcast with members from all over the world.
With the number of PBL classrooms and schools growing every day, more and more educators and education administrators will be looking to each other to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects that will make learning more meaningful to the student and the class. In this way PBL will continue to be a powerful method of preparing students for the future.
For more information about PBL, click here.