PROJECT BASED LEARNING

The term “project-based learning” gets tossed around a lot in discussions about how to connect students to what they’re learning. As many great teachers know, project-based learning is much more than students just “doing projects” after they’ve learned about a certain subject. When done well, students use the project as a way to learn about the subject. The idea is that kids learn best not by being lectured, but when they become a part of the learning objective.

When done well, the goal of project based learning is to connect classroom learning to its applications in the outside world. Planning and designing great projects is not easy, though. It can be very messy, and schools that are entirely based on project based learning look very different than traditional classrooms. Though there’s no one particular way of doing it, there are certain criteria that educators agree should be incorporated.

Take a look at the posts below, which include examples of projects, like this student-created Holocaust exhibit, and this arcade made of cardboard completely by one motivated kid. We recommend starting with the articles below, but be sure to scroll through all the pages.

DIG INTO PROJECT BASED LEARNING

1. How to Reinvent Project Based Learning to Be More Meaningful

2. How to Trigger Students’ Inquiry Through Projects

3. What Project-Based Learning Is — And What It Isn’t

4. Why Learning Should Be Messy

5. What’s the Best Way to Practice Project-Based Learning?

6. What It Takes to Become an All Project-Based School

7. Before Reading or Watching, Students Should Experiment First

How to Reinvent Project Based Learning to Be More Meaningful

Project-based learning continues to be misinterpreted as a single teaching strategy rather than as a set of design principles that allow us to introduce the philosophy of inquiry into education in an intelligent and grounded way. It’s time to not only address the flaws in PBL, but to reinvent it in a way that leads to deeper learning, creative inquiry, and a better fit with a collaborative world in which doing and knowing are one thing.

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What Project-Based Learning Is — and What It Isn’t

Screenshot/High Tech High The term “project-based learning” gets tossed around a lot in discussions about how to connect students to what they’re learning. Teachers might add projects meant to illustrate what students have learned, but may not realize what they’re doing is actually called “project-oriented learning.” And it’s quite different from project-based learning, according to … Continue reading What Project-Based Learning Is — and What It Isn’t →

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The Far-Flung Reach of Caine’s Arcade

Who knew a YouTube video of a nine-year-old boy’s cardboard creation would hit such a nerve? Caine’s Arcade, which has gotten more than 7 million views on YouTube and Vimeo since it was posted last April, inspired a global movement, compelling kids across the world to create their own versions of the cardboard masterpiece in … Continue reading The Far-Flung Reach of Caine’s Arcade →

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Why Learning Should Be Messy

The following is an excerpt of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, by 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, a senior at Syosset High School in Woodbury, New York. Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: “How do we teach it?” In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach … Continue reading Why Learning Should Be Messy →

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Lessons Learned: How a Progressive New School Adapts to Realities

When we envision a well-rounded, progressive education for our kids, we think of a vibrant environment that nurtures students’ passions, provides structure for rich and deep learning, a place where kids can get their hands on projects that are meaningful to them. That’s the goal at Brightworks, a small, K-12 private school just starting its … Continue reading Lessons Learned: How a Progressive New School Adapts to Realities →

As part of the school's Maker Lab, Marin Country Day students spend the last few weeks of school building projects.

Building a Bridge to Summer with Projects

By Matt Levinson The month of May can be a tough time for schools. The end of the year brings mixed emotions for students, teachers and parents, as they prepare for transition into the summer months. Keeping the same routines can be reassuring for some, but recasting school in terms of time and space can … Continue reading Building a Bridge to Summer with Projects →

Students work on the Holocaust exhibit.

What Does a Great School Year Look Like? Ask the Students

This past school year, Shelley Wright, a high school educator in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, made a number of big changes in her teaching practice. The class went paperless and used a Wiki, she incorporated project-based learning and collaboration into her lessons, she experimented with “vessays.” All along the way, she documented everything on her blog … Continue reading What Does a Great School Year Look Like? Ask the Students →

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Napa New Tech: School of the Future is Here

What does the high school of the future look like? It’s one that emphasizes useful, relevant skills that can be applied to college and the work world beyond. One that encourages students to be critical thinkers, responsible for their own actions. One that trains them to work collaboratively and push themselves to outside their comfort … Continue reading Napa New Tech: School of the Future is Here →