Confucius termed PBL as learning by doing, Socrates referred to it as modelling though questions and inquiry and educationalist John Dewey pointed out PBL is dynamic learning, education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.
Problem-based learning emerged more than half a century ago as a practical teaching strategy where students are challenged to solve problems or do simulations that mimic real life. Although problems are defined in advance by the teacher, they tend to be complex, even messy, and cannot be solved by one right or easy-to-find answer. This is how students learn something they can't learn in a classroom or from a text. Unlike textbook-driven instruction, problem-based learning puts the student in charge of asking questions and discovering answers.
In schools today, project-based learning has evolved as a method of instruction that addresses core content through rigorous, relevant, hands-on learning. Students are encouraged to have a makers’ mindset that has been described as “playful, asset and growth-minded, failure positive, and collaborative". Projects are typically framed with open-ended questions that drive students to investigate, do research, or construct their own solutions. Students use technology tools much as professionals do perhaps even more, to communicate, collaborate, conduct research, analyse, create, and publish their own work for real world audiences. Instead of writing book reports, they create podcasts reviews of books, post them on a blog, and invite responses from a partner class in another class or country. The visible thinking routines Stories, Sticking Points, Facts or Fiction and Same and Different have assisted students greatly in our PBL activities.
PBL appeals to and engages the full range of diversity in today’s learners because it meets the many of the cognitive processes needed to learn and think at deeper levels. Culture, context, and the social nature of learning all have a role in shaping a learner's experience. PBL offers these through relevance, choice, evaluation and justification activities that promote higher order thinking skills. Our evolving definition of literacy is also addressed in PBL, as students must to be able to navigate and evaluate a vast amount of data & information in this digital age. Fluency in technology along with the development of critical thinking skills is required.
Our children face a world full of complex challenges. Knowing how to solve problems, work collaboratively, and think innovatively are vital skills not only for navigating their own lives but also for tackling difficult issues in local communities and around the world.
Copyright © 2016 Eden Edutech Consulting