Walking into one of our Learning Spaces, you’ll quickly realise that it’s very different, gone are the days of desks and chairs in a row, chalk board at the front of the room, dependence on snail mail to exchange ideas.
Today, they’re replaced with real world experiences and collaboration happening right in the palm of our student’s hands, and with that comes a great opportunity for a different kind of teacher – led instruction – one that is actually not teacher-led, but instead is teacher-facilitated. It’s called ‘project based learning,’ or PBL. Though PBL has been around since the early 20th century, our teachers today, are finding it a very useful tool in their ever growing tool kit.
PBL expands on the popular educational theory that students learn best by experiencing real world problems and working together to find solutions. It’s giving our students a chance to critically & creatively think, and develop the problem solving skills needed as soon as they walk out the door into the real world.
Teachers are able to give students an authentic real world problem/ challenge that drives the learning. So teachers will never hear ‘Why do I need to know this?’ Students work together and solve a problem, by applying the knowledge that they learn along the way. The project may take days, weeks even months as they encounter and overcome challenges, by designing and redesigning their solutions.
Don’t get me wrong, PBL at Bethania definitely isn’t slapped together. Teachers attend professional development sessions, collaboration takes place. It’s very carefully scaffolded includes multiple subjects and assessed accordingly.
Research indicates that students involved with project based learning
- Become more engaged, self directed learners
- Learn more deeply and can transfer their learning to new situations
- Improve problem solving and collaboration skills
Project Based Learning is a way to reach all students and get them engaged to work towards a creative goal.
Bethania Lutheran School – Educating differently.