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Project-based learning is a student-centered approach to teaching that has become more popular than ever in recent years. According to “Key Principles for Project-Based Learning,” a white paper published by Lucas Education Research, project-based learning is ”an inquiry-based educational approach in which students explore real-world problems through individual and group projects.” The aim of this teaching and learning method is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to answer questions and develop solutions to problems in a collaborative way, using skills including critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and imagination and innovation.
Many people conflate the use of individual projects within a curriculum with project-based learning as the curricular foundation. But there’s a difference between using traditional projects in an educational setting and teaching through project-based learning (PBL). Typically, traditional projects require students to participate in several passive activities like listening to lectures, reading, and completing worksheets, and to use memorized information to complete culminating projects at the end of a unit of study. These projects do not always reflect the depth and breadth of student learning and often have no real-world connections or future applications. This differs greatly from PBL.
The project-based learning method begins when an authentic and essential question is posed to students; every unit of study begins this way. Then their teacher encourages students to investigate and respond to the question. Students are challenged to make sense of why the lesson content is significant and to understand how that content might be applied so as to answer the question and solve the problem at hand. Students consider the question/problem for an extended period; then they are encouraged to apply their content knowledge and employ higher-order thinking skills to understand the issue, strategize tactics and techniques that address it, and finally to implement solutions. In PBL, students engage in active, experiential, and immersive educational experiences. They show and reinforce what they learn throughout the unit.
PBL promotes a depth of understanding that some students do not achieve when taught via more traditional instructional methods. It can spark engagement and boost academic achievement while also encouraging students to become life-long learners who will be able to contribute to society in a substantial and impactful way.
Tots ‘N Tutors is a professional mobile and remote tutoring company based in Austin, Texas that offers support to students in every grade from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade as well as college. The professionals at Tots ‘N Tutors can help students take responsibility for their learning and reach their academic goals. The tutors are experienced at guiding students to improve fundamental learning skills (such as note-taking and study skills, organizational and time management skills, and communication skills), while also helping them gain greater academic knowledge and understanding. The goal at Tots ‘N Tutors is to help students learn to be as efficient and effective as possible as they learn, so they can grow into the most productive people they can be. Contact Tots ‘N Tutors today to discuss scheduling a meeting to learn more about individual or small group sessions held in person or remotely, to address the specific learning needs of your student.