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Why Project-Based Learning Is Better Than Traditional Classroom Learning
Teachers in today’s classroom environment are always on the lookout for ways to make their teaching more engaging and effective. Many of us can clearly remember our favorite teachers from school. Often, they are the teachers that showed the most creativity in the way that they approached the job. Similarly, many of us have had teachers who were more conservative but less inspiring.
Project-based learning is an approach that prioritizes critical thinking and enables students to develop their problem-solving skills. It is an inquiry-based method of learning that both hands control of learning back to the students while empowering them to develop important skills for the future.
The goal of project-based learning is to equip students with learning skills that they can apply to any situation. In other words, the lessons of project-based learning will go beyond the classroom and will be applicable to students’ everyday lives. After learning to tackle projects in the classroom by sticking to a proven formula, students will then have a blueprint that can be applied to other scenarios in their lives.
Here are some of the key things you need to understand about project-based learning in order to fully grasp the potential that it offers. This is a method of learning that will enable you and your students to take on any task life throws at you in a calculated and methodical way.
Scope of Work
This is perhaps the most important advantage of the project-based learning method. Educators, students and teachers can all benefit from learning how to appropriately structure their projects. Rather than sitting passively and listening to lectures, project-based learning makes students responsible for their own learning but also gives them the tools to do this properly.
Considering every project you encounter as a collection of achievable goals and thinking about how to prioritize and structure these projects will enable you to accomplish things you otherwise would have thought impossible.
Real World Applicability
Project-based learning teaches students skills that have many uses beyond the classroom. Not only will they be armed with the skills that they need to succeed academically, they will be able to apply these same skills towards achieving their own personal goals as well.
For example, if a student is an aspiring actor and wants to audition for roles in their spare time, project-based learning can help them to achieve this goal. Any student can learn about getting an audition, but a student who understands the principles of project-based learning will have an advantage in preparing for the role.
Improves the Interpersonal Skills of a Student
Interpersonal skills are another set of skills that are useful for an actor, but they are also useful for every student. Interpersonal skills are something that comes naturally to some people, while others have to work on it. Regardless of which camp you fall into, project-based learning will give anyone’s interpersonal skills a boost.
When a teacher is using project-based learning, they will often set their students more difficult and complex tasks than usual. This is because the interactive nature of project-based learning enables students to take on board and retain much more information than they would if they were simply listening and taking notes.
Students will need to structure and organize their work in order to keep up with project-based learning; it is therefore an excellent way of improving these skills. Students will also need to learn to collaborate with one another, sharing their opinions and ideas for each project. Encouraging students to communicate with one another and give feedback to one another will help them develop interpersonal skills organically.
Concept and Creativity Development
Project-based learning encourages students to develop a much greater depth of understanding of the concepts that they encounter when compared to other classroom teaching methods. Students benefit from a more considered approach that encourages them to take the time to fully understand a concept as well as evaluating it.
Students in a project-led learning environment will be active participants in their learning, rather than passively taking information onboard. This is the key difference between project-based learning and other methods; the more interactive nature of project-based learning means that students can comfortably take in more information in a shorter space of time.
Better Information Retention
Students who learn to use a project-based approach to learning stand a much better chance of properly understanding and retaining information than students using other methods. In order to succeed in a project-based learning environment, students will engage with the subjects and concepts they encounter for longer and will consider them in more detail.
Develop Unknown Skills
In a project-based learning environment, students will spend most of their time working in groups. The dynamics between groups of students can be interesting, albeit sometimes very predictable. When project-based learning is taught properly, students will be able to quickly establish who in their group is best suited for particular tasks. However, there will inevitably be occasions where a group of students believe they don’t have anyone with a particular skill in their group.
This is a golden opportunity for students to discover hidden talents that they would otherwise never have known they have. This can seriously expand a student’s perception of what they are capable of. In the long run, this will encourage them to be more ambitious and to aim higher.
Project-based learning is a powerful teaching tool, one that can completely transform the way that students approach life's’ challenges, both inside and outside the classroom. Breaking tasks down into more manageable chunks is a tried and tested method of enabling students to tackle large projects. Project-based learning expands on this and offers a teaching method that is more effective than traditional classroom learning methods.
If you are a teacher who is looking for a way to get their students more engaged and more alert, the collaborative and interactive nature of project-based learning is an excellent way of achieving this. No matter what the specific subject or course, students who understand the project-based approach will stand a much better chance of remembering information.