Naveed, Ben, Lori, Laurie, Peggy
The Leading Question
 You’ve heard about Project Based Learning (PBL),
but now you’re wondering….. Sure, it sounds good,
 Is it right for me and my students?
 Isn’t it a big change?
 Can I do it in today’s educational landscape?
 The answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes
Projects: Large activities completed after the students
have been pushed through homework assignments,
lectures, and readings. Usually a culminating event
for a unit or semester.
Writing Exercise
Peer Edit
Culminating Project
Writing Exercise
Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Entry Document
Writing Exercise
Peer Edit
Writing Exercise
What is Project Based
Do you ever feel like you’re pushing students through the
course you teach, or herding reluctant cattle with a
combination of encouragement, rewards, and threats?
In Project Based Learning (PBL), students are pulled through
the curriculum by a meaningful question to explore, an
engaging real-world problem to solve, or a design challenge to
meet. Before they can do this, they need to work with other
students to inquire into the issues raised, learn content and
skills, develop an answer or solution, create high-quality
products, and then present their work to other people. This
process creates strong need to know and understand the
material. And that’s the key to increasing students’ motivation
to learn in PBL-give them real need to know, understand, and
demonstrate what they learn, beyond simply getting a good
Essential Elements of PBL
 Significant Content At the core, the project is focused on teaching students
important knowledge and skills, derived from standards
and key concepts at the heart of academic content areas.
 21st Century Skills Students build skills valuable for today’s world, such as
critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and
communication which are taught and assessed.
 In-Depth Inquiry Students are engaged in a rigorous, extended process of
asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.
Essential Elements of PBL
 Driving Question Project work is focused by an open-ended question that
students explore or that captures the task they are completing.
 Need to Know Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand
concepts, and apply skills in order to create project products,
beginning with an entry event that generates interest and
 Voice and Choice Students are allowed to make some choices about the products
to be created, how they work, and how they use their time,
guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL
Essential Elements of PBL
 Revision and Reflection The project includes processes for students to use
feedback to consider additions and changes that lead
to high-quality products, and think about what and
how they are learning.
 Public Audience Students present their work to other people, beyond
their classmates and teacher.
Why Use PBL?
 Students gain a deeper understanding of the
concepts and standards at the heart of a project.
Projects also build vital workplace skills and
lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow
students to address community issues, explore
careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology,
and present their work to audiences beyond the
classroom. PBL can motivate students who might
otherwise find school boring or meaningless.
How Is PBL Used?
 Some teachers use PBL extensively as their primary
curriculum organizer and instructional method.
Others use PBL occasionally during a school year.
Projects vary in length, from several days to several
weeks or even a semester. PBL can be effective at all
grade levels and subjects, and in career/technical
education, afterschool and alternative programs
PBL Misconceptions
PBL is not: the dessert
PBL is: the main course
PBL is not: a string of activities tied together under a theme, concept, time
period, culture, geographic area, etc.
PBL Is: set of learning experiences and tasks that guide students in
inquiry toward answering a central question, solving a problem, or
meeting a challenge
PBL is not: the same as “making something” or “hands-on learning” or
“doing an activity.”
PBL is: often focused on creating physical artifacts, but not always. It
must involve other intellectually challenging tasks and products focused
on research, reading, writing, discussion and oral presentation.
PBL’s Effectiveness: What
Experience and Research
Tells Us
Project Based Learning has had its advocates in education for many
years, but more and more teacher and schools in the 21st century are
recognizing its value.
Classroom Teachers
 Based on their experience, teachers say that a welldesigned and well-implemented project:
Can work for all kinds of students, with the right support
Improve students’ motivation to learn
Can be used to teach academic content standards
Can include multiple opportunities to integrate technology
Helps students see how school connects to the outside
world by making learning relevant and meaningful
 Promotes greater civic participation and global awareness
 Researchers have found that well-designed and
well-implemented PBL can:
 Be more effective than traditional instruction in
increasing academic achievement
 Increase student motivation and engagement in
 Improve students’ retention of knowledge over time
 Improve students’ mastery of 21st century skills
 Be especially effective with lower-achieving students
 Increase students’ achievement on state-administered,
standardized tests
 Schools have used PBL effectively in all grade levels and
courses, and for these special purposes:
 Career/technical education programs;
continuation/alternative high school programs; after-school
programs; summer school
 Integrating two or more school subjects and encouraging
team teaching
 Connecting the school to other schools, the community,
businesses, and other organizations
 Schools can help make PBL effective by creating a
supportive culture, encouraging collaboration among
teachers, providing PD, and developing school-wide
practices and assessments
The Role of the Teacher in
 Once comfortable with PBL, most teachers say they
would “never go back”
 Most enjoy their new role which allows them to work
more closely with students, acting more like a coach
instead of the “sage on the stage”
 If you enjoy being the center of attention this may not be
for you
 May still be the need for lecture, structured lessons, or
the need to direct students to resources
 Become manager of inquiry process, assessor of learning,
and master of logistics
Developing an Idea for the
 Remember the essential elements of PBL
 Places to start the Wheels Turning:
The standards for the course you teach
Your community
What is relevant and interesting to your students
What happens in the world outside of school
 Finding ideas from other sources:
 Your colleagues’
 Online project libraries
 The teacher’s edition of your textbook or other materials
from publishers
Specifying Goals for
 Know where you are going with the project
 Project should have multiple goals
 District standards
 State standards
 Business/industry standards
 21st Century Skills
 Critical thinking
 Collaboration
 Communication
Deciding on the Scope of
the Project
 Imagine the possibilities, but know your limits and
ask yourself the following:
What requirements do you live with?
What time frame do you operate in?
What is your classroom like?
What are your students like?
What resources are available to you?
Monarch Butterfly Project

similar documents