PROJECT-BASED LEARNING

WHAT IS PBL?

Students have always completed projects as part of their educational experience. This has led to quite a lot of misunderstanding both inside and outside the education sector.

The PBL that we engage in at King’s uses a number of highly effective teaching strategies that are designed to develop learners that will be interdependent learners who can think critically about their learning and articulate that learning to others.

Instead of being fed information up-front by the teacher, the learning is centred around a project that students need to investigate and find answers to. In the example shown in the picture, students are asked to solve the problem of how to rescue people from a radiation-affected site.

The New Tech Network illustrates the process in the diagram. The students need to ask a number of questions about the site. Why isn’t it safe for humans? What options do we have for helping them? Enter the learning. The teacher is now able to help the students navigate these questions and present them with the learning for the project.

The learning becomes more ‘point-of-need’ and student-centred.

Dr Lara Boyd outlines new research in how the brain learns

Project-Based Learning creates the structures within schooling that allow for students to engage in real-world experiences where they learn by working toward a project goal.

As part of this process, there is struggle that is engineered into the process, which, as this video discusses is a key to effective learning. Dr Lara Boyd has discovered from her research that ‘more effort and increased struggle during the practice of skills leads to greater structural change in the brain and more learning.”