We live life and don’t just read about it. The experiences make us better. The very nature of life makes us understand all the things because we do them. The “doing over knowing” principle is the key.
Just imagine if this concept was applied to our education, wouldn’t we become better scholars than we are now? Project-based learning is a sustainable alternative to our otherwise unexciting and repetitious learning. In fact, the new education policy introduced recently also focusses on skill-based education. We can make our education system effective and impactful by including this powerful technique.
What Is Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning, as the name suggests, is an efficient approach for developing knowledge and skills in students through engaging projects. It is different from the conventional learning paradigms as students are entitled to investigate and find solutions to complex problems or a ca challenge faced in the real world. This way of learning is inclusive and reasonable also because it allows students to characterize their careers, not as the years of education and service they provide to a specific institution but as a series of projects supported by sustained attention and skills.
Other Names For Project-Based Learning
The idea of project-based learning revolves around identifying the challenges and building knowledge and skills for finding and developing the solution. Although experimental learning or practical learning can be interchangeably used for this technique yet the aspects related to them remain the same.
The Elements Of Project-Based Learning
The heart of project-based learning is the thought and design of the project in making. It almost flows like authentic research where one starts with a research question or a problem statement. The design stage of project-based learning is characterized by the following instances –
- A student must identify and focus on the question or challenge to which a solution has to be found.
- Academic knowledge and the general understanding of the problem come together in the research phase (for finding the answer).
- Students learn vital skills like critical thinking, creativity, cooperation, and resource management.
- Students are able to formulate and answer the question during the research process.
- Facilitates a feedback system, where students can ask and attempt queries to revise and enrich the project for high efficiency.
- Bolsters confidence and effective communication skills by allowing students to present their ideas, research process, strategies, and results.
Understanding The Technique With Example
Although project-based learning is a simple enough term to understand yet we may fail at the implementation level. So understanding the concept with a simple example gives us a better view of the situation. In modern classrooms or the world in general, everything starting from household chores to presenting in an event is a project. This means that our routine, whether it is education, domestic life, or career, is divided into a sequel of projects. A common example of project-based learning in the business incubator wherein students and young entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to propose engaging projects set around small or big problems faced in the real world. This is a great way of utilizing the existing knowledge and enhancing it as you work about your project.
Benefits Of Project-Based Learning
Not only does project-based learning boosts our knowledge in a particular field of work but also helps us learn and augment important life skills such as cross-cultural understanding, perseverance, decision making, creativity, reasoning, personal and social responsibility, and interpersonal communication. So, this relatively modern yet ancient way of learning bolsters a students’ soft and hard skills, in a great way, laying a strong foundation.
1) Provides multiple opportunities for authentic assessment of a child
In PBL, a child can exhibit not just his/her knowledge and interest in a particular domain but also demonstrate qualities like teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking, and independent skills. It helps students to explore and express their curiosity, allowing the teacher to understand his/her student better.
2) Project-based learning accommodates students with different learning styles and abilities
By allowing students to work in the area of their interest, skills identification becomes easier and they can achieve more in the same direction. It empowers students to take ownership of their projects, celebrate their progress, learn from their mistakes, getting better, and continue on the path of success. It fills any student with self-confidence.
3) Project-based learning supports lifelong learning
In life, we go by the quote- learning never ends but that’s, not the case in academics. After a certain point in a child’s education, learning definitely stops. But PBL ensures that learning is not theoretical but practical for students and hence, it continues until the last breath. it allows students and teachers to think and work beyond the school building and timing. It allows students to seek knowledge every time, giving them control of their learning. Because one can always improve their project, based on the current environment.
4) Teamwork and Leadership
This is one of the most important parts of PBL as students learn to work as a team and also learn to take leads wherever needed. They understand the importance of sharing their opinion and respecting others’ options at a very early age. Working on a project together doesn’t just ensure the success of a project but also reinforces trustworthy and meaningful relationships between students and teachers.
5) In-depth understanding of academic concepts
Students don’t just cram concepts a day before their examination but get an in-depth understanding of theoretical concepts by their practical implementation. Education becomes fun that way and one gets a better understanding of the world around.
Project-based learning is true, a promising way of imparting education, making students industry-fit professionals and better individuals. It’s no secret that we learn best by doing things. A cycle of reflection and revision enables us to get better in the course of time. One cannot learn cycling unless they sit on a cycle, paddle to move forward and maybe, fall over. Merely knowing about it doesn’t really help until you try it out yourself. This is relevant in education too, especially in the modern world where everyone seeks all-rounders. Project-based learning prioritizes what we think are the essential characteristics of education and grooms an individual not just for one job or career, but for the real world. It is the kind of learning that occurs in life and hence is the best suited for our evolution as individuals.
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Also check out online learning vs classroom learning
Also, check out the blog on the new education policy- India Welcomes A New Education Policy After 34 Years