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Educational Leadership:Teaching Students to Think: Project-Based Learning
Whether students investigate what happens to their family's garbage or design an entire city, project-based learning aims to engage them in realistic, thought-provoking problems.
What's the Idea?
The core idea of project-based learning is that real-world problems capture students' interest and provoke serious thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context. The teacher plays the role of facilitator, working with students to frame worthwhile questions, structuring meaningful tasks, coaching both knowledge development and social skills, and carefully assessing what students have learned from the experience. Advocates assert that project-based learning helps prepare students for the thinking and collaboration skills required in the workplace.
Project-based learning creates opportunities for groups of students to investigate meaningful questions that require them to gather information and think critically. Typical projects present a problem to solve (How can we reduce the pollution in the schoolyard pond?); a phenomenon to investigate (Why do you stay on your skateboard?); a model to design (Create a scale model of an ideal high school); or a decision to make (Should the school board vote to build a new school?)." Educational Leadership:Teaching Students to Think:Project-Based Learning