Project based learning is a type of teaching methodology where the students are provided the opportunity to connect with the real and practical world and develop their knowledge and skills by engaging themselves in real life projects.
In this type of learning a student learns to implement the things that he/she has learnt theoretically into the practical aspects. They are general provided projects, may be for a certain period of time, longer or shorter which aids in the holistic development of the student. They showcase their knowledge and skills by connecting with the real audiences and making the live projects. Instead of short-term memorization and summative regurgitation, project-based learning provides an opportunity for students to engage deeply with the target content and thus helps in bringing a focus on long-term retention.
Now, let’s discuss some of the characteristics of Project Based Learning (PBL).
Characteristics of Project-based Learning
- Multidisciplinary in nature
Project based learning can be referred to as multidisciplinary in nature as there’s very little or no theoretical aspects taught during it. Students are required to solve the real-world problems and challenges by applying knowledge from different aspects of different disciplines. Projects require the students to actively engage in process of inquiry, problem solving and product construction strategy.
- Student centric approach
Project based learnings are student centric in nature. Students work independently on their respective projects with the help of the faculties or the teachers. Students feel a sense of belongingness and self confidence in leading the project and making their own decisions. It fosters student’s independence, ownership of their work, and the development of 21st century workplace skills.
- Real world involvement
Project based learnings are based on the real-world approach. As already discussed, students get to do learn theoretical aspects practically by interacting with its real world or immediate environment. Projects are based on the authentic real-world problems that helps the teachers to grasp the student’s attention which stimulates their thinking ability and help to drive them towards conducting research.
Having known about the characteristics of project-based learnings, now, let’s discuss how the project-based learnings can be advantageous for high school students.
Advantages of project-based learnings for high school students
- Building of network
Through collaboration, the relationships that are formed while working on a project is one of the huge benefits that project based learnings can offer to the students. Students learn the group behaviour (how to behave in a group) and proceed accordingly.
Not only they learn how to work better in groups but also, they get to listen other people and their point of view. A positive bond is created with the teachers. Students also form relationships with community members when working on projects, gaining insight for careers and beyond.
- Project based learnings promotes lifelong learning
Project based learnings helps the students in reaching beyond the theoretical boundaries of the school. Developing a lifelong love of learning is very important in education and project-based learnings do this.
Project based learnings and the use of technology together enables the students as well as the teachers to achieve great heights of development. Through project-based learnings students learn to take control of their learning and this serves as the foundation step of growth and development for them.
- Aids in building problem solving approach
Students interact with the real-world environment and learn how to solve problems that are important to them, including real community issues. This aids in building an in-depth understanding of their research project work and deepens their learnings which is not stipulated just with the theoretical boundaries.
Students are more engaged when they learn how to solve problems that are important to them. It also helps to see how real-world problems affect life in their community.
- Students teach students
Project based learning also provides a learning environment and the opportunity for the high school students to share their knowledge and other useful aspects of learnings with the junior students. This results in students teaching students.
Learning how to collaborate in a group is crucial to life in the real world. Life is about solving problems, and usually, we go about solving them with other people. When they get specialised with a problem then a student with better skills and greater knowledge are always are keen to pass it to the younger students. So, in this way learning continues.
- Fosters perseverance and self confidence among students
Project based learnings also foster a spirit of perseverance and confidence among students. Working on a project, students learn to manage obstacles more effectively. They no longer consider defeat as failures, rather they take it as learning and try to learn from every mistake that they do.
There is no right way to do a project. They keep trying and working hard until they believe that they have learned from their mistakes and thus makes adjustments until they are satisfied.
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