What even is Project Based Learning?
Project Based Learning, or PBL, is about the PROCESS, as well as the PRODUCT. Students learn best by doing, and in PBL, they do a LOT of doing! In simple terms, PBL is about tackling a problem. It has 4 steps that take students down the path of discovery in countless ways.
This is the students’ first exposure to the problem or driving question*. The teacher may introduce it with something called an entry event** to build students curiosity and get their gears turning about the topic.
Ideation & Inquiry
Students have to make a plan! What do they already know about the driving question? What do they need to learn? What tasks need to be taken on to get answers? Who on our team is right for each task? Get to work!
Develop, Critique, & Revise
This phase is about self and peer evaluation. Are these results replicable? Is the information clearly conveyed? What do field experts think about it? What changes should be made? This often sends students BACK to the Ideation and Inquiry step once they answer these questions.
Presenting & Defending Solutions
The goal of project based learning isn’t a grade, its a solution! The projects students work on are to be shared with the world. This demonstrates and reinforces the value of their work and its impact on their communities. Students proudly share their work, allowing them to reflect on it, and see its applications for future learning.
*Driving Question – The mission of the project. The issue students are tackling. The problem they’re trying to solve. Their common goal.
**Entry Event – Its the kick off to a new project. It might be a news article, a field trip, an observation, a movie… anything that gets kids asking why?, how?, and what can I do? Here’s a problem in our community, lets help solve it. Why does that happen? This is what I think, do other people agree with me?