Project-based learning : May 2009

T&L advisor David Andrade claims that project-based learning (PBL) is the only way to master content. Here are some highlights of what our readers are saying:

¦ I teach computer science in elementary school. I agree with you that projects make the kids want to learn and allow them to learn more. The children are tired of being tested, and we, the teachers, waste time teaching for tests the state demands they pass. I hope someone in authority hears the teachers saying, “stop!”

¦ PBL has been around for a very long time. That being said, its lack of broad implementation is most likely due to NCLB and state assessments. It will not be until concepts like 21st-century skills are broadly accepted into the "norm" of teaching and learning that these pedagogies will be important, practiced, supported and measured.

¦ Good to know that not only we here in Indonesia are facing the challenges to implementing PBL. It's all about content completion as challenges in PBL implementation. If a school decides to support its teachers in implementing PBL, it should also adjust their curriculum.

¦ As a developer of career simulations (virtual internships), I think it is all about PBL, living the design process and making everything contextual. If teachers knew the truth, that it is more fun and easier to teach and engage students with project-based learning, every teacher would be embracing it.

¦ I have always pushed a project-based approach over the top-down rote-learning paradigm that is entrenched in much of our public schools. David uses new teaching techniques that will prepare students for the 21st century, unlike those teachers who are cruising in the classroom, unwilling to change for their students and our country.

¦ Twenty-first century learning advocates argue for the importance of collaboration. Collaboration certainly strengthens project-based learning.