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Project Based Learning

What exactly is project based learning?

As a teacher, I have always been searching, educating myself and learning new techniques over the past few years of teaching English to Spanish speakers. Project based learning is one of the ways that I have found to stimulate and motivate 80–100 % of the class, to engage, explore and use the information that they have received, learnt or found. In project-based learning, students work in groups to solve challenging problems that are authentic, curriculum-based, and often interdisciplinary. Learners decide how to approach a problem and what activities to pursue. They gather information from a variety of sources and synthesize, analyze, and derive knowledge from it. Their learning is inherently valuable because it's connected to something real and involves adult skills such as collaboration and reflection. At the end, students demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge and are judged by how much they've learned and how well they communicate it. Throughout this process, the teacher's role is to guide and advise, rather than to direct and manage, student work. (Solomon, 2003)

Project based learning allows students to:

Come up with a solution to a real-world problem.

Be inspired and engaged.

Research their topic.

Work collaboratively.

Develop confidence.

Think critically and come up with solutions by themselves.

Present their work/ ideas/ solutions in a variety of ways.

 

What do teachers need to do?:

Develop a clear purpose for the project.

Carefully design the project.

Pose challenging questions.

Support the team and communication.

Evaluate their material.

Model solutions and strategies to overcome difficulties found

Use real life problems.

 

How I try and start a project is with 5 clear points that need to be followed.

 

ENGAGE – EXPLORE – EXPLAIN – ELABORATE – EVALUATE

 

It’s a method I have found and used extensively.

 

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