Is Project Based Learning Here to Stay?
New study finds PBL promising
- Project based learning, where students tackle real world problems instead of relying on rote memorization of facts, is taking off across the U.S. One recent study found the resulting outcomes from the PBL approach to be “positive but not proven.”
- Some schools are incorporating PBL in with concepts like a later start time to the school day as a way to reduce stress and improve student wellness.
- Schools and districts are also looking into incorporating PBL into graduation requirements so that students show they have a mastery of employment skills upon receipt of their diploma.
The world of education is evolving, and the system invented over a century ago that involves desks in neat rows with a teacher teaching in front and pupils diligently memorizing facts and formulas is on the way out in a lot of places. One of the learning techniques that is catching on around the country is project based learning, or PBL. Many educators and experts argue that PBL prepares kids for a bright future in today’s society by teaching them real-world complex problem-solving skills.
The thinking behind the PBL movement is simple: Students of yesteryear were being groomed to perform specific tasks usually in an industrial or factory environment, and therefore needed to learn facts and how to follow directions to be ready for the workforce. Additionally, students going into what is now called STEM careers needed to know how to solve mathematical and scientific equations and problems, things that are all done quickly and electronically today.
PBL accepts these changes and prepares students for the workplace of today, preparing them to solve problems they will face in the workforce using critical thinking and a systematic approach to breaking the project down into small tasks, which, when completed, will combine to complete the project as a whole. It is a trend in education that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.