Project-based learning, or PBL for short, is a rising trend in American education. This is due to its direct application to real-life situations and problem-solving. In contrast to traditional learning, PBL is a largely student-engaged method that allows them to be more proactive in the classroom as they explore, interrogate, and form their own solutions.
As a parent, you might be wondering: What are the benefits of PBL for your child? And why is this project approach more appropriate now in education?
This article looks into the many advantages of PBL and the different types of activities typically associated with it. The goal is for parents to be more open to what is called blended learning, a mix of PBL with other approaches, to stimulate your child’s capabilities in different fields in the sciences and the arts.
Advantages to Project-Based Learning
The following benefits arise when students are brought up in a school environment with PBL:
- Directly relates to employable skills and collaboration
PBL actually necessitates the need for your child to know practical skills such as planning and executing certain projects.
For instance, students are asked to put together a working lamp shade due to their studies on electrical currents in the classroom. In other words, PBL helps them to directly translate what they learned into real-life solutions.
- Highly relevant to the real world
PBL is highly involved in the reality of current events and situations that concern the United States and the world. Thus, projects are usually aimed to help your child insert themselves and empathize with these issues.
For example, they will initiate a community mural painting in the local neighborhood about the rising Black Lives Matter movement and the issue of child violence. PBL brings down what they see in reality and triggers their self-expression and ability to freely communicate with their community.
- Encourages cognitive thinking and problem solving
Because there is room for constant improvement and learning, PBL allows students to workshop or critique each other until they have come up with a collective effort to successfully pull off the project.
An example of this is in biology class, as your child may be asked to collaborate with a group and observe the roles and importance of insects in their neighborhood’s ecosystem. Some children may point out a fact while others a debatable opinion. This allows them to reconfigure their observations until scientifically proven and factual.
- Values the student’s individual voice
As PBL is mostly student-engaged, it allows all of them to be involved in one way or another. There are no ways for your child to hide here. They have to come up with something that will contribute to the completion of a project.
For example, they may be put in charge of a student-run farm and market to learn about basic money math and pricing. Each student must then know the pricing and take turns to service customers. Each of them gets a chance to learn and develop their skills and unique approaches.
- Produces multi-skilled individuals
Due to the multi-faceted or interdisciplinary nature of PBL, students become competent in more than one field. It allows them to better relate topics and issues for effective problem-solving.
For instance, the class may be instructed to write to their local mayor with a proposed action plan and budget for relevant issues in their community, such as air pollution. PBL thus better equips them for higher education that requires multiple perspectives and skills to be successful in their chosen course of study.
- More complex discussions and engagement in faith-based education
For most catholic schools in America, PBL is regarded as a means to directly apply what students learn and also be directly involved in the ministry of local church projects. This provides a more genuine appreciation for their faith and how their education is part of the solution.
Imagine a local crisis among the homeless community that the church is dealing with. Projects from PBL curriculums can help children apply values that they learned and also the importance of their skills in these kinds of relief efforts. Overall, it makes them more effective lay people in the church.
Project-based learning has a lot of positive impacts on building competent individuals who will serve their communities. If you wish to learn more about PBL and how it widens children’s capacity for holistic development, don’t forget to discuss with your local schools to seek their valued input.
Are you in need of a highly competent Catholic school in Springville? St. Aloysius Regional School uses an integrated curriculum approach with various teaching styles such as project-based learning. Enroll your child with us and secure their future!