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Project-Based

Learning Training 2007


What is the problem with
current education
methods?
Despite the fact that high test scores are
a poor indicator of future success,
governments continue to push teachers
into test based educational approaches.
In the 1960s, Dr. Howard Barrows at McMaster
University found that despite the fact his medical
students scored very high on standardized tests,
they were unable to diagnose patients.
Meanwhile, businesses are telling educators that
industrial age classrooms are not preparing our
students for the post-industrial economy.
“The great end of education is
to discipline rather than
furnish the mind; to train it to
the use of its own powers,
rather than fill it with the
accumulation of others.”
--Tryon Edwards
“The art of teaching is the art of
assisting discovery.”

--Mark Van Doren


How do we then create a rigorous,
relevant, student–centered learning
environment that better prepares all
students for the 21st Century?
The Project-Based
Learning Solution
THE PBL SOLUTION

OLD SCHOOL
 Teacher has monopoly on
information
 Minimal student participation
in the problem solving process
 Learning is not related to other
content areas or real world
situations
 Students work primarily alone
 Student feedback is minimal
and often not geared toward
improvement
THE PBL SOLUTION

PBL HIGH SCHOOL


 Information is accessible from
many sources
 Students are engaged in
content based problems and
projects
 Content is integrated with other
subjects and real world issues
 Student feedback is detailed
and used for improvement
 Student is expected to work
with others
What Is Project-Based
Learning?
WHAT PROJECT-BASED LEARNING?

 Project-Based Learning is a comprehensive


instructional approach to engage students in
sustained, cooperative investigation.
 In project-based learning, students work in
groups to solve challenging problems that are
authentic, curriculum-based, and often
interdisciplinary
 They gather information from a variety of
sources and synthesize, analyze, and derive
knowledge from it.
WHAT PROJECT-BASED LEARNING?

 Their learning is inherently valuable because it's


connected to something real and involves adult
skills such as collaboration and reflection.
 At the end, students demonstrate their newly
acquired knowledge and are judged by how much
they've learned and how well they communicate it.
 Throughout this process, the teacher's role is to
guide and advise, rather than to direct and
manage, student work.
WHAT PROJECT-BASED LEARNING?

Project-Based Learning involves students


pursuing solutions to nontrivial problems by:
 Asking and refining questions
 Debating ideas
 Making predictions
 Designing plans and/or experiments
 Collecting and analyzing data
 Drawing conclusions
 Communicating their ideas and findings to others
 Asking new questions

(Blumenfeld et al., 1991)


Some considerations
Does it fit within our current
curriculum framework?
Programming
Outcome Reporting
The role of students
THE ROLE OF STUDENTS

Students play an integral part in both the


direction of the learning and the classroom
activities. Some points to note:
 It is important for students to have input in the
direction of their learning.
 This engages the students in the learning process
because they have an interest in what is going on in the
classroom.
THE ROLE OF STUDENTS

 Students need to be able to exhibit multiple


intelligences.
 Projects should cater towards the presentation of
different learning styles.
 The end solution should be authentic and concrete.
 Students are provided with opportunities to interact
with other group members building work orientated
relationships.
The role of teachers
THE ROLE OF TEACHERS

 Group student appropriately


 Orient students to the goals of the project
 Organize the project daily by defining the scope of
inquiry
 Clarify everything
 Monitor and regulate student behavior
 Manage the workflow
 Evaluate success and reflect on learning
The role of technology
THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY

Technology is the fundamental tool in


facilitating PBL. Some tools used include:
 Emails
 Forums
 Online journals
 Simulations
 Online quizzes
 Video editing
 Graphic presentations
 Web site creation
 Online databases and museums.
 Virtual reality
Examples